Bot vs bought

Bot and bought are commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. Homophones are a group of words with different spellings, the same pronunciations, and different meanings. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. It can be difficult to learn how to spell different words that sound the same, and homophones are commonly misused words. Said aloud, the difference is less important, because the words are pronounced the same. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing even to native English speakers when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may help the listener distinguish between homophones and understand the correct spelling; the words affect-effect are a good example, but the word pairs to, too and two, bridle and bridal, creek and creak, hoard and horde, toed and towed, or horse and hoarse, are indistinguishable from each other and are easily confused and are commonly misused. Pronunciation is usually more ambiguous, as English pronunciation may vary according to dialect, and English spelling is constantly evolving. Pronunciation may change even though the spelling doesn’t, producing two words that are pronounced in the same manner but have different meanings such as night and knight. Phonological spelling and spelling rules do not always work, and most people avoid misspelling by studying vocabulary words from spelling lists, enhancing their literacy skills through spelling practice, and learning words in English by studying a dictionary of the English language. English words are also spelled according to their etymologies rather than their sound. For instance, the word threw is derived from the Old English word thrawan, and the word through came from the Old English word thurh. Homophones are confusing words and are commonly misspelled words because of the confusion that arises from words that are pronounced alike but have very different usage and etymology. 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. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a homophone in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Homophones are often used in wordplay like puns. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words bot and bought, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Bot is an abbreviation and may signify a robot or a chatbot. A robot is a machine that completes repetitive tasks; a chatbot is a a computer program that simulates interactive human conversation, usually over the internet. Bot may also mean the larva of a botfly; the word bot to mean a larva or maggot has been in use since the 1500s. The definition of bot that most use today, meaning a robot or chatbot, came into use in the 2000s and comes from internet slang or teen slang.

Bought means to have purchased something. The word bought is the past tense of the word buy and is derived from the Old English word, bohte, which means to purchase something.


A Spanish marketing professional decided to try to stand out to potential employers during his job search by creating an interactive “resume bot” that essentially allows him to preemptively answer questions he would expect during a live in-person interview. (New York Post)

Bad bot traffic is on the rise as nations race to make COVID-19 vaccines available to their citizens and healthcare becomes increasingly digitized, forcing healthcare organizations to rethink their security and IT infrastructure strategies. (Health Tech Magazine)

Nearly a third of the cattle bought by JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) in the Brazilian Amazon state of Para came from ranches with “irregularities” such as illegal deforestation, prosecutors found in a 2020 audit of the world’s largest meatpacker released on Thursday. (Reuters)

While different courts have ordered the freezing of assets linked to Ms Oduah in Nigeria over her “humongous” indebtedness to banks, the four anonymously acquired London properties – alongside one other bought in her own name and two others bought in the name of her Nigerian-registered company – remain owned by her. (Premium Times Nigeria)

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