Damp squid

I really like this eggcorn. It makes sense: squid live in water and I imagine living in water makes you damp. I’m not sure why damp squid are seen as failures or as disappointing; that seems rather unfair on them.

The phrase is actually damp squib. It is usually considered British English.https://pixabay.com/en/fireworks-red-night-sky-rays-1002817/

A damp squib is a situation or event which is less impressive, exciting or popular than expected.

A squib is a type of firework or firecracker. Small explosives used in the military and in industry are also called squibs. If a squib gets damp, it won’t go off.

To British readers – I hope your Bonfire Night wasn’t a damp squib. If you are going to see fireworks this weekend, I hope you have a wonderful time! (Fireworks are one of my favourite things.)


6 thoughts on “Damp squid

  1. That’s interesting, I didn’t know Damp Squib had morphed into Damp Squid……I wonder if a typo or mis-heard conversation started the whole thing?


  2. Ah, that’s what a squib means. I’ve often heard the saying, but didn’t know what in the world a squib was. Interesting. 🙂


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