Ranch vs raunch

  • Ranch and raunch are 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 ranch and raunch, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.


    A ranch is a farm that raises livestock, usually beef, horses, or sheep. Ranch is a noun, but it is sometimes used as a verb to mean the act of raising livestock on a farm. Related words are ranches, ranched, ranching, rancher. The word ranch is derived from the Spanish word, rancho, which means people who eat together. In North America, a ranch may also refer to a certain architectural style of house that is built all on one level.


    Raunch is something that is vulgar, lewd, or earthy. Raunch is a noun and is a 1950s back-formation of the adjective, raunchy. The word raunchy came into use in the 1930s; its origin is unknown. However, one theory is that the term originated among the Army Air Corps in the United States and is a corruption of the outdated term, ranchy, which referred to something that was filthy like animals in a pen.


    To help inform the new design, Tyson Fresh Meats fielded a survey with Star Ranch Angus beef’s core shoppers to select a logo and tagline that resonated with them and reflected the brand’s values. (Drovers Magazine)

    At a recent Wyoming Stockgrowers Association event, Clark rancher Lloyd Thiel highlighted something about a ranching career that illustrates the industry’s troubling economics. (Powell Tribune)

    Rolling Stone said “WAP” was the “escapist raunch America needed in 2020,” and NPR described the song as “the spectacle of unity between two of music’s brightest talents.” (USA Today)

    Some, such as Sex Education and Big Mouth, used foul-mouthed raunch to wheedle into the vulnerable heart, and palpable fear, of adolescent sexuality; others tackled thornier topics – abortion (HBO Max’s Unpregnant), suicide (Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why), drug addiction (HBO’s Euphoria again – if it’s serious or shocking, it’s on Euphoria), and anti-black police brutality (The Hate U Give). (The Guardian)

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