Bowl vs bowel

Bowl and bowel are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. Confusables is a catch-all term for words that are often misused or confused; there are many confusing words in the English language that may be easily confused for each other in spoken English and written English. Two words or more than two words, even if they are common words, may be confused because they are similar in spelling, similar in pronunciation, or similar in meaning. These commonly confused words may be pronounced the same way or pronounced differently or may be spelled the same way or spelled differently, or may have different meanings or have almost different meanings; they may be homophones, homonyms, heteronyms, homographs, words that have a similar spelling, or words that have a similar meaning. Sometimes, confusables are word constructions that are not proper English words. Confusables often confound native speakers of English, and they may be difficult for ESL students and those learning English to understand. Confusables are misspelled, misused words that have a different meaning from one another and may be nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, or any other part of speech. Spelling rules in English are not dependable; there are many exceptions. Often, the best procedure to learn new words and commonly misused words and commonly confused words in English is to make word lists of English words for the learner to study to understand the difference in spelling and meaning. To learn new words in the English language, one must not only study a spelling words list, one must know the meaning of words in one’s vocabulary word list. It is also helpful to memorize how to correctly pronounce words and to know the etymology of new words or where they are derived from. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check but instead, learn to spell and learn the definitions of words. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a confusable in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Confusables are often used in wordplay like puns. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables bowl and bowel, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

may mean 1.) a deep dish suitable for holding food or other items 2. ) the contents of a bowl 3.) a playoff game to determine the winner of a certain league in sports like football 4.)  to roll the ball toward the pins in a game of bowling 5.) to propel the ball toward the batsman in a game of cricket 6.) in British English, to move rapidly in a certain direction. The word bowl is derived from the fifteenth century word bowl, which meant a wooden ball. Bowl may be used as a noun or a verb, related words are bowls, bowled, bowling, bowler.

The bowel is the intestine; the word bowel is also used figuratively to mean the deepest part of something. The word bowel is derived from the Old French word, boele, which means intestines.


Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in another bowl. (Daily Reporter)

A 2016 PepsiCo Inc Super Bowl ad featuring a woman dancing through different historical eras didn’t infringe an ad agency’s copyright in its allegedly similar pitch to the soda giant, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Friday. (Reuters)

Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by recurrent chronic abdominal pain and impaired bowel habits, which affects daily activity and work productivity, and is associated with a significant healthcare economic burden as well as an impaired quality of life and psycho-affective profile. (Dove Medical Press)

“They flew through the bowels of hell and would never abandon anyone on the ground,” Willing said. (Montana Standard)

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