English

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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sparrow +‎ grass

Noun

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sparrowgrass (uncountable)

  1. (nonstandard) Eggcorn of sparagus (asparagus).
    • 1907, H[erbert] G[eorge] Wells, “The Epilogue”, in The War in the Air: [], London: George Bell and Sons, published 1908, →OCLC, page 384:
      I remember my lars’ customer, the very lars’ customer that ever I ’ad. He was a Mr. Moses Gluckstein, a city gent and very pleasant and fond of sparrowgrass and chokes, []
    • 1926, Arnold Bennett, “Sam’s Lunch”, in Lord Raingo, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, →OCLC, part I, pages 127–128:
      “I never use them things,” he said, pointing to the special utensil for handling asparagus. “I find as it isn’t done. I was dining with Ockleford t’other night, and he didn’t use them. I only learnt about asparagus not long since, and now I make a point of losing no opportunity of getting used to it. I took some ’ome in a bit o’ paper to my missis the night before last. ‘’Ere’s a bit o’ sparrowgrass, missis,’ I said. Slavey came in while I was eating it, and caught me picking it up with my fingers. Next morning she says to my missis, so missis told me, ‘’Ow does master eat ’is sparrowgrass when ’e’s out with company, mum?’ says she.”

References

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