Another kind of confusion happens at the beginning of words. People once worked with a protective bit of clothing called a napron. But enough heard it as “an apron” that apron eventually supplanted napron completely. Other words beginning with vowels and preceded by “an” went through the same process: nadder became adder and nauger, auger (a tool for boring holes). In other instances, an n was added, not subtracted, by a mistake in the opposite direction: a newt was once a ewt, and a nickname was once an eke-name. (Eke is an old word for “also”.) Not all such forms survived: while neilond, nangry and nuncle appear in older English texts, they never did replace island, angry and uncle.
...Pariah trod a similarly improbable path: the word means “drummer” in Tamil, becoming the name of a downtrodden ethnic group which often performed ceremonial drumming. That “downtrodden” element of the meaning then became the only one in English.