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A mondegreen (also sometimes spelt 'mondagreen') is the mishearing (usually accidental) of a phrase, such that it acquires a new meaning. The word is a mondegreen of "They hae slain the Earl o' Murray and laid him on the green", from the anonymous 17th Century ballad 'The Bonnie Earl O' Murray', the last five words being misheard as "Lady Mondegreen". Sylvia Wright is thought to have coined the word to describe all such mishearings. While a common occurrence for children, many adults have their own collection, particularly with regard to popular music.


and some children's ones:

Quite a few mondegreens may be seen in captioned live TV broadcasting of impromptu speeches, interviews, etc.

Some mondegreens arise from false friends. A phrase in one language may be misheard as a semi-sensical phrase in another language. The humorous aspect of these has given rise to a music video genre known as animutation.

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