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The formation of a new word through a mistaken analysis of a boundary between existing words. A typical example is the word adder, derived from Middle English naddre through people mishearing the phrase a naddre as an adder. A second example is the word apron, derived from a mistaken division into an apron of the Middle English a napron, from Old French naperon a little cloth, from Latin nappa a napkin. Often confused with meta-analysis. Compare back formation, folk etymology (2). [From Greek meta beside or beyond + English analysis]

Subjects: Psychology.

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