Shone vs shown

Shone is a past and past participle form of the verb shine, when shine is used as an intransitive verb meaning to emit light. Shone is a comes from the Old English word scinan, meaning shed light, be radiant, illuminate. Shown is the past participle of the word show, which is a verb meaning to make noticeable, exhibit, to present, to bestow. The word show has existed in its present form since around 1300, to mean act of exhibiting, to view. In the early sixteenth century, show also obtained … [Read more...]

Breeches vs britches

Breeches are short trousers that extend to or below the knee. When speaking informally, breeches is a term that may refer to any trousers. Breeches is a plural noun, the preferred pronunciation is BRIchiz. The word breeches appears around 1200, it comes from the Old English word brec, the plural of broc, meaning a garment for the legs and trunk. Breeches cover a person's posterior, the word breech has come to refer to a baby trying to emerge from the womb posterior first, and the part of a gun … [Read more...]

Cent, scent and sent

A cent is a penny, the lowest denomination of money in the United States, Canada and other countries. One hundred cents equal one dollar. Cent comes from the Latin centum, which means one hundred. Cent- is still used as a prefix to mean one hundred. A scent is a particular smell, usually pleasant. Perfume is often referred to as a scent. Scent may also denote the trail a bloodhound or other dog follows to find a missing person. The word scent comes from the Old French sentir, meaning to feel, … [Read more...]

Leach vs leech

Leach means to remove a soluble substance from another substance through the action of a percolating liquid. Verb forms of leach are leaches, leached, leaching. Leach may be used as a noun to denote the act of leaching or the substance that has been removed by the leaching process. Leach comes from the Old English word leccan, meaning to moisten, water, wet, irrigate. A leech is an annelid worm with suckers on both ends of its body, the leech feeds on blood or tissues of animals and humans. A … [Read more...]

Cay, quay and key

A cay is a naturally occurring low island, either a sandbar or a coral reef. Cay is most often applied to Caribbean islands, the preferred pronunciation is "key" Cay comes from the Spanish word, cayo, which means key. Its first use to refer to an island occurred in 1707. Key also may refer to a naturally occurring low island, either a sandbar or a coral reef. Key is most often applied to Caribbean islands. Key also comes from the Spanish word, cayo, which means key. A quay is a man-made … [Read more...]

Currant vs current

A currant is a small dried fruit which is raisin-like, made from a Mediterranean grape, the zante. A currant is also a berry from a currant shrub such as a blackcurrant, redcurrant or whitecurrant. They are often used in baking and in jellies and jams. Currant comes from the mid-fourteenth century term raysyn of Curans, literally raisins of Corinth, referring to the zante. In the 1570s currant was also applied to the Northern European berry. Current is a flow of water or air that moves in a … [Read more...]

Border vs boarder

A border is a demarcation line which separates two geographic or political areas. A border may also refer to an edge or margin, often ornamental, such as a strip of flowers or bushes that grows along a house, garden or property line. Border may also act as a transitive verb, which takes an object, to describe providing an edge or boundary. As an instransitive verb, which takes no object, border describes something which is adjacent to another thing. Border may also mean on the brink of an … [Read more...]

Vary vs very

When used as a transitive verb, vary means differ in size, amount or appearance, to make different from another, to bestow variety. When vary is used as an intransitive verb it means to be differentiated or diversified, to change something, to turn it into something less uniform. Related words are varies, varied, varying and varyingly. Vary comes from the Latin varius, which means diverse. Very is an intensifier, an adverb or adjective used for emphasis. It means to a high degree. Very is … [Read more...]

Click vs clique

A click is (1.) a quick, sharp sound, (2.) the act of pressing the button on a computer mouse, (3.) two people becoming suddenly attracted to each other, (4.) two or more people coming together to work successfully, (5.) to become understandable, in a flash. Click may be used as a verb or an adjective, related words are clicks, clicked and clicking. Click is considered an echoic word, but it is also associated with the Middle English clike, which is a locking latch. A clique is an exclusive … [Read more...]

Rain, reign and rein

Rain is a condensation of moisture that drops to earth. Rain may be used as a noun or a verb, the verb forms are rain, rains, rained, raining. The adjective forms are rainy, rainier and rainiest. A derivitive is raininess. Rain may also be used to describe something that pours down in a fashion akin to rain. Rain comes from the Old English regn. Rein refers to the part of a horse bridle that is a long strip of leather attached to the bit which is in the mouth of the horse. There are two of … [Read more...]

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