Lady Mondegreen, an eggcorn, a malapropism and mumpsimus…

A mondegreen is the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near-homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning. (eg. “pre-Madonna” instead of “prima donna”)

The unintentionally incorrect use of similar-sounding words or phrases in speaking is a malapropism. (eg. “intensive purposes” instead of “intents and purposes”)

If there is a connection in meaning, it can be called an eggcorn. (eg. “old timers” instead of “Alzheimers”)

If a person stubbornly sticks to a mispronunciation after being corrected, that can be described as mumpsimus.

Just for the sport of it, how about “reverse Mondegreens”:

Some nonsensical lyrics can be interpreted homophonically as rational text. A prominent example is Mairzy Doats, a 1943 novelty song by Milton Drake, Al Hoffman, and Jerry Livingston. The lyrics are a mondegreen and it is up to the listener to figure out what they mean.

The refrain of the song repeats nonsensical sounding lines:
Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too, wooden shoe

The clue to the meaning is contained in the bridge:
If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey,
Sing “Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy.”

The listener can figure out that the last line of the refrain is “A kid’ll eat ivy, too; wouldn’t you?”, but this line is sung only as a mondegreen.

… walks into a bar …

duckbeerI realised this morning that I knew at least four of these jokes, one of which is not very nice (sorry Celine Dion), so I thought I would share them:

Timmy the toothless termite walks into a bar and asked where is the bar tender?

Pause (This needs to be performed more than read)

A polar bear walks into a bar and asks the barman, “Please could I have a gin and … (pause for 5 seconds) … tonic.”

The barman says, “Sure thing, but what’s with the big pause?” and the Polar Bear says, “I dunno, I was born with them.”

Celin Dion walks into a bar and the barman says, “Why the long face?”

The Duck (This also requires a little perfomance)

A duck walks into a bar as asks the barman for a bread roll.

The barman says, “Sorry mate, but we don’t serve bread rolls here”, to which the duck says, “Ok, well could I have a couple of slices of bread then?”

The barman says, “Afraid, not, we don’t server any bread here either”, and the duck, looking forlorn, says, “Not even an old crust?”

The barman, slightly agitated, says, “No, we don’t serve any bread”, but the duck insists, “What about a mouldy piece?”

To which the barman whispers firmly, “Listen, we don’t serve bread here, and if you ask one more time, I am going to nail your fucking beak to the bar!”

Calmly, the ducks as the barman, “Do you have any nails?”, and the barman says, “No.”

So the duck says, “And bread?”