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folk' etymol'ogy

1. a modification of a linguistic form according either to a falsely assumed etymology, as Welsh rarebit from Welsh rabbit, or to a historically irrelevant analogy, as bridegroom from bridegome.
2. a popular but false notion of the origin of a word.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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