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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 Bonnie Earl O' Moray: "They have slain the Earl O' Moray, / And laid him on the green" (misheard as “Lady Mondegreen”).


  • enPR: mŏnd′əgrēn
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈmɒndəɡɹiːn/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈmɑndəɡɹiːn/
  • (file)


Examples (mishearing)
  • “The ants are my friends, blowin’ in the wind.” (“The answer, my friend, is...”) from Bob Dylan'sBlowin' In the Wind.”
  • “There's a bathroom on the right” (“There's a bad moon on the rise”) from Creedence Clearwater Revival'sBad Moon Rising.”
  • “'Scuse me while I kiss this guy” (“'Scuse me while I kiss the sky”) from Jimi Hendrix'sPurple Haze.”
  • “Andy walks with me…” (“And He walks with me…”) from the hymn “In The Garden”
  • “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Harold be Thy name…” (“…hallowed be thy name…”) from the Lord’s Prayer

mondegreen (plural mondegreens)

  1. A form of error arising from mishearing a spoken or sung phrase. [from 1954]
  2. (rare) A misunderstanding of a written or spoken phrase as a result of multiple definitions.


See alsoEdit