Hey there! I'm Vivian. Sometimes I write about life and sometimes I write about teaching.

Do you know what a mondegreen is? In a nutshell, it’s a word or phrase that comes from mishearing a song lyric. One of the most famous ones is “wrapped up like a douche” for “revved up like a Deuce” in the song “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. I’m definitely guilty of singing that one. It doesn’t even make sense. Or how about this one from Phoebe Buffay from the show Friends:

Yesterday after dance class I asked a friend, “Who sings that confidence song?”

Which song?” she asked, looking at me confusedly.

“You know, the one that goes, don’t drop that confidence…” I sang with utter confidence.

“You mean the one that goes, don’t drop that donkadonk?!” she sang back as she dropped it like it was hot.

A quick internet search proved that we were both wrong. The song is called, “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun” by Finatticz.

After a quick laugh, I reminded her of how I’d confessed a couple years ago that I also thought there was an Obama song. When I tried to look it up so I could listen to it outside of dance class, nothing came up. That’s because the song is called, “Con Calma”. {face palm}

Another friend listening in to our conversation offered this explanation, “Maybe you just hear what you need to hear from the song.” I really like that idea. It doesn’t explain, “wrapped up like a douche”, but it’s still an interesting idea.

What are your mondegreens?

  1. I love learning new words… and the actual song lyrics! This post is too funny. I liked how you included dialogue snippets and song clips in your post. And yes, perhaps we just “hear what you need to hear” at times.

  2. Alice says:

    I’ve busted a gut laughing! First, I didn’t know this thing was a thing, let alone know there was a word for it! Adding that one to my bag of random words I needed to know. I especially enjoyed the video clips you included to make this post even more fun. Most of my mondegreens (sounds like the name of a salad to me, or microgreens, ha!) are from ’80s songs and I’m stuck! Can’t think of them off the top of my head right now, but it sure is a point to ponder. And a great reason to cue up a playlist. Don’t Drop That Thun Thun (confidence, donkadonk-what’s the difference?) will top my list.

  3. arjeha says:

    What about Gladly the Cross-eyes Bear?

  4. Book Dragon says:

    Thanks for teaching me a new word today!
    I learned that Taylor Swift wasn’t singing about ‘Starbucks lovers’ but ex lovers.

  5. I did not know that term! How fun to learn a new word. And all of your examples brought chuckles to me. I love that idea of hearing what one needs to hear from a song.

  6. jaclynfre says:

    This is great! I’m not sure what category this falls into but for years, I thought the word “seldom” was a sad word on the range. I learned “Home on the Range” as an early piano song where the lyrics include: “Home, home on the range. Where the deer and the antelope play. Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day.”

  7. Lainie Levin says:

    I love this post, and the new word you’ve brought our way! You made me smile with the examples you’ve had – especially since both you AND your friend had it wrong. I’ve been there! I’m sure that I have plenty of these guys floating around my brain, only I can’t think of any offhand…



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