Playing base

Wynand Myburgh may be part of the Mark Liberman/Chris Waigl “base” eggcorn complex. The 28 “base guitar” ghits in Google Books include such sterling refs as Asante & Mazama’s Encyclopedia of Black Studies, and the following passage from Black Ice by C Rowe Myers seems to confirm that in some cases writers are using it in accordance with one of the two clouds of meaning associated with “base”:

In a few short steps, they were on the dance floor keeping time to the strong primal rhythm of the base guitar.

I would suggest that the Herald’s usage is up there on cloud 2, which, interestingly, has a different etymology from cloud 1.
Disregarding the Afrikaner music scene for a moment, I wonder if the usage didn’t arise as follows: playing base (ball) -> playing base (guitar).

Similar posts


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *