A-Z: General definitions: Malapropism


often referring to a character from the C18th play ‘The Rivals’ by Sheridan, where Mrs Malaprop constantly chooses a word which is not quite the one she intends. However, malapropsims were used well before then in drama: Shakespeare’s Elbow in Measure for Measure and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream betray their ignorance by choosing impressive-sounding words which sound similar to the one they want , but are in fact the wrong choice

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