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Wanton vs. wonton

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  • Wanton is an adjective meaning immoral or unchaste, merciless, unrestrainedly excessive, or undisciplined. The word also has rarer verb and noun senses—basically, to be wanton and one who is wanton. A wonton is a noodle-dough dumpling filled with pork or other meat and boiled in soup or fried. It’s a delicious Chinese side dish. The two are homophones at least in some varieties of English, which makes their occasional confusion inevitable.

    Examples

    Wonton

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    I couldn’t find wonton wrappers so I got egg roll wrappers, which were too big. [GoErie.com]

    To the delight of patrons, wonton soup and fried rice become gnocchi with Himalayan truffles, sea urchin sashimi, chicken fried beef jerky and other specialties. [The Business Insider]

    Wanton

    But the way the courts have applied it, the prosecutor has to show a wanton and willful disregard for human life … [Baltimore Sun]

    But even though Mrs Cutler clearly suspected her nephew, she forced Gladys and me to listen to a long lecture on the evils of wanton behaviour. [Daily Mail]

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