Ball vs bawl

A ball is a round sphere, either hollow or solid. A ball is an object that is thrown, kicked or hit in a game such as soccer, football, baseball or rugby. In North America, any game that employs the use of a ball may be referred to as ball, but especially, baseball. Any substance that is shaped in a round sphere, either hollow or solid, may be referred to as a ball. Another definition of ball is a highly formal dance or social gathering. Ball may be used as a verb to describe the act of forming something into a round shape. Ball comes from the Old Norse bolr, meaning ball. The first mention of a ball as an item in a game is in 1200.

Bawl is a verb that means to shout, to emit loud cries without restraint. Bawl also means to cry noisily, the adjective form is bawling. Bawl came into use in the middle of the fifteenth century, originally meaning to howl like a dog, from the Old Norse baula, meaning to low like a cow and the Medieval Latin baulare, to bark like a dog. The first use of bawl to mean reprimand loudly appears in 1908, in American English.


It was then, with two outs in the ninth inning, that Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa sent a ball 111 mph, on one hop, toward the outfield. (The Los Angeles Times)

In this short but memorable clip, an 11-year-old boy shows that he’s skilled enough to not only cover one of the most famous sax solos in popular music, but to also juggle a soccer ball at the same time. (Time)

DeHoyos threw a balled up napkin and hash browns at the manager, who told police DeHoyos also “chest-bumped” her several times. (The Chicago Tribune)

As one measure of the high esteem in which the Kingwood Tea Party holds the fourth estate, the event’s “media room” was located in the building’s nursery, where members of the liberal media could sit in tiny chairs and cribs and bawl about the new conservative ascendancy. (The Texas Observer)

As Life magazine observed, he was “the voice of the blind criers and crazy beggars and maimed men who summon up the strength to bawl out their souls in the streets”. (The New Zealand Herald)

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