The UVic Writer's Guide
Malapropism is the accidental use of a word which resembles the one intended,
but has a different, often contradictory meaning.
The term derives from the character Mrs. Malaprop in Sheridan's
The Rivals (1775): "Caparisons are odorous," she proclaims. An earlier example
is the verbal confusion of Constable Elbow in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure (1604) quoted in the section on humour.
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Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria,
This page updated September 23, 1995