mondegreen

n. (from Sylvia Wright’s 1954 essay “The Death of Lady Mondegreen”)

  1. A new word or phrase created by mishearing a phrase, usually of poetry or song lyrics.

After pop diva Yumi Matsutoya started mixing bilingual lyrics in the 1970s, bands perfected the art of seamlessly fusing Japanese verses with English choruses. You can mondegreen their songs in the shower for weeks without even realizing it. —Paul Collins, “jTunes: The insanely great songs Apple won’t let you hear”

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