Doh, doe or dough

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Doh, doe and dough are three words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings. This makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of doh, doe and dough, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Doh is the first note and the eighth note of a scale in a major key. It comes from the Italian and is merely a random syllable assigned to these notes. An alternative spelling is do. Doh is also used as an exclamation to express frustration with one’s own inept or silly actions. The American television show The Simpsons popularized this meaning, though originally the word was spelled with an apostrophe, as in d’oh. Today the Oxford English Dictionary lists the spelling as doh.

A doe is a female deer. Doe may also refer to a female kangaroo, rat or rabbit. Doe is derived from the Old English word da.

Dough is a raw mixture of flour, liquid, and other ingredients used in baking pastries and breads. Dough is generally thick and malleable, and may be manipulated with the hands. Dough is also a slang term for money. The word dough is derived from the Old English word dag.


But when a speech pathologist asked her to sing “doh re mi”, a look of amazement crossed her face. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

D’oh! ‘Simpsons’ takes wrong stance on Apu controversy (The Boston Herald)

A news release from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources law enforcement division said residents of Deming, an unincorporated hamlet in northern Hamilton County, “had frequently spotted the doe for several years, as it raised several sets of fawns.” (USA Today)

Doughlicious, Appleton’s first edible cookie dough shop, opens Friday. (The Appleton Post Crescent)