Soul survive

On the eggcorn beat. It started with:

Patrick Bubley is the soul-surviving son of Maeve Bubley. His brothers (Vaughn, Cedric, Quincy and Luther) were all killed (link)

(which came up while I was searching for something completely different). Soul for sole.

A few more examples (of many):

C deserves her mothers estate as her soul surviving child. (link)

He met and later married Kathryn Foster of Imperial, NE in 1938. (She is the soul surviving child of the late Mr. & Mrs. P. N. Foster of Imperial) (link)

What to do with the soul survivor of a pair of bonded parakeets? (link)

I’m the soul survivor of my team, but still smiling (link)

Sole >> soul is already in the Eggcorn Database (here), but specifically in soul rights for sole rights (in law). Chris Waigl commented there:

“Sole rights” might be rights that are intimately tied to the very nature of the copyright-protected work.

Now we see the eggcorn in a wider context, where soul might be favored by the association between soul ‘person’ and the verb survive, as in this passage by Zadie Smith:

Even Liberia’s roots are sunk in bad faith. Of the first wave of emigrants, half died of yellow fever. By the end of the 1820s a small colony of 3,000 souls survived. (link)

(Many many others can be found.)

The association between soul and survive has often been deliberately played on, as in the name of the Trenton NJ hip-hop duo Surviving Souls and in the many uses of Soul Survivor listed in Wikipedia:


Soul Survivor (charity), a worldwide Christian charity based in Watford, London


Soul Survivor (Al Green album), 1987


Soul Survivor (Gorefest album), 1996


Soul Survivor (Pete Rock album), 1998 album


Soul Survivor II, a 2004 album by Pete Rock


“Soul Survivor” (Young Jeezy song), 2005


“Soul Survivor” (Beverley Knight song), 2010


“Sole Survivor” (Helloween song), 1994


“Soul Survivor”, a song by the Rolling Stones from the 1972 album Exile on Main St.


“Soul Survivor”, a song by L.L. Cool J from the 1993 album 14 Shots to the Dome


“Soul Survivor”, a song by the Dead 60s from the 2005 album The Dead 60s


Soul Survivor (film), a 1995 film by Stephen Williams


“Soul Survivor” (Charmed), an episode of the television series Charmed


Soul Survivors, a 2001 film starring Melissa Sagemiller


Soul Survivor, a book by Christian author Philip Yancey


Soul Survivor, a book about reincarnation published in 2009


6 Responses to “Soul survive”

  1. mae Says:

    Tuned by this post to look for eggcorns, I just noticed a caption in the L.A.Times “In Santa Cruz, a new leash on life.” The related article does not seem to indicate that this is a pun or other intended joke. (I took a screen shot in case they correct it, but at the moment it’s on the front page of the L.A.Times.)

  2. Awake, my soul « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] link between my posting on the Sacred Harp song Hallelujah and my posting on soul for sole.: the song Loving-Kindness (275t), which begins “Awake, my […]

  3. The Ridger Says:

    That LA Times article is about letting dogs into the business districts, so I’m confident the hed is meant to be a pun, as heds often are.

    At the urging of businesses that felt they were losing customers to more dog-friendly communities, the city has lifted a 35-year ban aimed at keeping dogs — even leashed, licensed dogs — from setting paw on Pacific Avenue, downtown’s main commercial thoroughfare.

  4. mae Says:

    Ah HA ! the problem was a wrong link. The article that was linked when I read it was about funding state parks. Usually you can tell when the link is bad.

  5. Chris Ambidge Says:

    perhaps (tangentially) related: Michael Bolton’s 1989 album *Soul Provider*, though that may be a pun on the kind of music thereon

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