Faro, Farrow or Pharaoh

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Faro, farrow and pharaoh are three words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and mean different things, which makes them homophones. We will examine the difference between the definitions of faro, farrow and pharaoh, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Faro is a gambling card game. Play involves betting on the order in which cards appear in the deck. Faro dates back to the seventeenth century and is descended from the game basset. There are two origin stories for the word far. Originally, the word was spelled as pharo, and some believe this is a reflection of a type of deck with a picture of a pharaoh on the non-numbered side of the cards. Another, more likely origin story is that the word is derived from the French word pharaon, which was a term for the king of hearts.

Farrow is another word for a litter of pigs, the act of birthing a litter of pigs or the process of giving birth to a litter of pigs. Related words are farrows, farrowed, farrowing. The word farrow is derived from the Old English words fearh and færh, which mean young pig.

Pharaoh is the title given to ancient Egyptian rulers. Pharaoh is also used as a proper noun in the Bible. Today, referring to someone as a pharaoh means that he is a tyrant. The adjective form is pharaonic. Pharaoh comes from the Egyptian pr-‘o, which means great house.


Faro was Nick “the Greek” Dandolos’ favorite casino game because it had the lowest house percentages, Hall-Patton said. (The Las Vegas Sun)

Herb had a vision and a passion for agriculture and was able to build that into a 2,000 acre farm, 250 head cow and calf, and a farrow to finish hog operation over the years with his family. (The Omaha World-Herald)

The eight-meter statue of an ancient pharaoh discovered in a Cairo slum in March has been restored and will be inaugurated on Tuesday at Luxor Temple by Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany, Luxor governor Mohamed Badr and a number of foreign ambassadors to mark UNESCO’s International Day for Monuments. (The Egypt Independent)