from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A series of words that result from the mishearing or misinterpretation of a statement or song lyric. For example, I led the pigeons to the flag for I pledge allegiance to the flag.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A form of error arising from mishearing a spoken or sung phrase
  • noun rare A misunderstanding of a written or spoken phrase as a result of multiple definitions.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[After (Lady) Mondegreen, a misinterpretation of the line (hae laid) him on the green, from the song “The Bonny Earl of Murray”.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Coined by Sylvia Wright in Harper’s Magazine (The Death of Lady Mondegreen, Nov 1954) from a mishearing of a line in the Scottish ballad The Bonny Earl of Murray: "They hae slay the Earl of Murray, / And laid him on the green" (misheard as “Lady Mondegreen”).


  • I'm so glad to have the term mondegreen now; it will surely vie with "earworm" for usefulness.

    It's all workin' out. - A Dress A Day

  • It involves a quirky novel written by MANDY GREEN (yep, a mondegreen of "mondegreen") whose story centers on a mondegreen ( "Gesundheit Whistle" misheard as GAZOON HIGH TWIZZLE).


  • It's a 'mondegreen', from The Bonnie Earl O' Murray:

    Waxing Lyrical

  • It's called "mondegreen," and it means "the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase, typically a standardized phrase, such as a line in a poem or a lyric in a song."

    Shawn Amos: "Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy" & Other Misheard Lyrics

  • One thing led to another, and now I’m the administrator of a flaky effort called Mandy Green Project, largely aimed at helping make "mondegreen" a household word.


  • They'll particularly like the page "What is a mondegreen?", with a killer video full of 'em.


  • I'm a native of Vermont, and this is my favorite mondegreen (from the Beach Boys '"Kokomo"):


  • Not a mondegreen, but it's also advisable not to forget yr mum's in the car with you and start singing along to Rocks by Primal Scream.


  • It's either that or Tony Danza is a common mondegreen.


  • It's the '76 Manfred Mann's Earth Band cover that's responsible for the signature mondegreen on this one.

    Shawn Amos: "Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy" & Other Misheard Lyrics


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Ye Highlands, and ye Lawlands

    Oh where have you been?

    They have slain the Earl of Murray,

    And they layd him on the green.

    December 12, 2006

  • Wow. Is that the origin of this word? Never knew that...

    "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy."

    --Jimi Hendrix (not)

    By the way, interesting article on how the human brain can distinguish time intervals between phonemes with a 90% accuracy rate is in Newsweek this week (Feb. 12, 2007, p.14, or, from whence I ripped off this example. :)

    February 7, 2007

  • can we start a misheard lyrics page?

    "There's a bathroom on the right."

    February 7, 2007

  • I used to hear "Lucy and this guy with diamonds" (I assumed they were getting married.)

    November 1, 2007

  • I can never quite get the image of Vienna Teng carring an axe convincingly out of my head....

    November 1, 2007

  • Gladly, the cross-eyed bear, thinks this word is awesome.

    November 1, 2007

  • More mondegreens here.

    April 27, 2008

  • Also here and here.

    October 22, 2008

  • And yet more here.

    October 22, 2008

  • Thanks, yarb--knew there was at least one other one somewhere.

    October 22, 2008