Definition of folk etymology noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


folk etymology

BrE BrE//ˈfəʊk etɪmɒlədʒi//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈfoʊk etɪmɑːlədʒi//
(also popular etymology) [uncountable, countable]
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a process by which a word is changed, for example because of a mistaken belief that it is related to another word, or to make a foreign word sound more familiar Folk etymology has created the cheeseburger and the beanburger, but the first hamburgers were in fact named after the city of Hamburg.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: folk etymology