Brewed vs brood

  • Brewed and brood are are two 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 brewed and brood, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.


    Brewed is the past tense of the word brew, which means to concoct an alcoholic beverage such as a beer through fermentation or a nonalcoholic beverage such as tea by steeping with hot water. Brew may also mean to develop an unpleasant situation. Related words are brew, brews, brewing. The word brew is derived from the Old English word brēowan, meaning to brew.


    Brood may be used as a noun to mean 1.) a group of young animals or birds 2.) the larvae of stinging insects like wasps or bees 3.) a large group of children. Brood may be used as a verb to mean 1.) to sit on a nest to keep eggs warm so they may hatch 2.) to ruminate on gloomy matters or to think incessantly about something unpleasant. The word brood is derived from the Old English word brod, meaning to hatch eggs in a nest.


    Crook & Marker uses organic alcohol brewed with ancient grains (like quinoa, amaranth and millet) and cassava root. (The Daily Herald)

    Whittaker’s chocolate have partnered with Bundaberg Brewed Drinks to produce a soft drink-inspired ‘brewed ginger’ flavoured block. (The Daily Mail)

    As for cicadas, what’s more conclusive right now: They tend to draw the most attention during brood years — when as many as 1.5 million cicadas synchronously emerge per acre — and that’s not happening in Philadelphia this summer. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

    The mid-July state Game and Fish Department survey indicated duck broods were comparable to last year and 52% above the long-term average, which goes back more than half a century. (The Bismarck Tribune)

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