Ocher or ochre vs okra

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Ocher or ochre and okra are words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables ocher or ochre and okra, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Ocher and ochre are different spellings of the same word, referring to a natural earth pigment made from a clay; ocher or ochre is a mixture of sand, clay, and ferric oxide. Art materials with ocher or ochre pigment range in color from yellow to orange to brown. Colors produced by this pigment are also called ocher or ochre: yellow ocher or yellow ochre is a hydrated iron hydroxide also known as limonite; red ocher or red ochre contains anhydrous iron oxide, also known as hematite; purple ocher or purple ochre also contains anhydrous iron oxide, but retains a different hue because the particles are larger; brown ocher or brown ochre contains partly hydrated iron oxide. Sienna and umber pigments, including burnt sienna and burnt umber, also contain manganese oxide, which makes these pigments darker than ocher. These colored pigments produce earth colors and tones that are essential to the artist’s paint palette, whether the painter works in watercolor, tempera, acrylic, or oil paints. The word ocher or ochre is derived from the Greek word, khra, which means pale yellow.

Okra is a plant that produces long seed pods that are fried, boiled, stewed, baked, or stir-fried and eaten as a vegetable. The word okra is derived from a West African word, though it is not known which one.


Now submerged caves in the Yucatán Peninsula contain remains of ocher-mining operations that date back at least 10,000 years. (Scientific American)

Murals are painted in quiet, muted tones—soft avocado, rich ochre, or light cornflower blue—but each project is unique, and is designed in collaboration with the client. (Architectural Digest)

Those using fiber supplements like psyllium husks should consider getting better cholesterol and blood-sugar management from okra at a much cheaper price. (Grand Island Independent)

Okra, also known as ladies’ fingers and by the botanical name Abelmoschus esculentus, is a herbaceous hairy annual plant of the mallow family. (The Guardian)