Definition of malapropism in English:
- Finally, it's also something like a malapropism, where a word is mistakenly substituted for one of similar sound shape.
- They speak in spoonerisms and malapropisms and put forward bizarre concepts and beliefs.
- Each day has a statement containing spoonerisms, malapropisms, contradictions, strange and unrelated facts, and misuse of words.
Mid 19th century: from the name of the character Mrs Malaprop in Sheridan's play The Rivals (1775) + -ism.
‘As headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile’ are some of the words of Mrs Malaprop, a character in The Rivals, a comedy by Richard Sheridan produced in 1775. Her most notable characteristic is an aptitude to misapply long words. The play was a great success, and the character clearly memorable, giving English the malapropism. Sheridan had based her name on the earlier term malapropos (mid 17th century) from French mal à propos ‘inappropriate’. See also spoonerism
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