A mondegreen is a mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as a result of near-homophony, in a way that gives it a new meaning. Mondegreens are most often created by a person listening to a poem or a song; the listener, being unable to clearly hear a lyric, substitutes words that sound similar and make some kind of sense. American writer Sylvia Wright coined the term in 1954, writing about how as a girl she had misheard the lyric "...and laid him on the green" in a Scottish ballad as "...and Lady Mondegreen".
"Mondegreen" was included in the 2000 edition of the Random House Webster's College Dictionary, and in the Oxford English Dictionary in 2002. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary added the word in 2008. Examples in other languages include those cited by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, in the Hebrew song "Háva Nagíla" ("Let's Be Happy"), and in Bollywood films.
A closely related category is a Hobson-Jobson, where a word from a foreign language is homophonically translated into one's own language, e.g. cockroach from Spanish cucaracha. For misheard lyrics this phenomenon is called soramimi. An unintentionally incorrect use of similar-sounding words or phrases in speaking is a malapropism. If there is a connection in meaning, it can be called an eggcorn. If a person stubbornly continues to mispronounce a word or phrase after being corrected, that person has committed a mumpsimus....LESS