Flesh vs flèche

Flesh  and flèche are commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words flesh and flèche, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Flesh is the soft part of an animal’s or human’s body consisting of muscle and fat or the pulp of a fruit or vegetable. Flesh is also used figuratively to mean the needs, urges, and moral weaknesses caused by the human body. The word flesh is derived from the Old High German word, fleisk, which means flesh.

A flèche is spire built over the place where a nave and transept on a church meet. The word flèche is a loanword or borrowed word from the French. Loanwords and borrowed words are terms that have been taken from other languages and used as English words and phrases. In French, the word flèche means arrow.

Examples

Experts have warned that climate crisis and land-use changes could be creating a conducive environment for flesh-eating leishmania parasites to infect more people in the US. (Independent)

Much of the time it feels as though everything is uphill; as though my flesh hurts just being on my bones. (Irish Times)

Attention is immediately drawn to the baptistery due to the form and details of the thin concrete shells and the flèche, a small spire on the top of the structure, which seems to have dissolved into metallic bars. (Architecture Daily)

The photographs show tremendous flames reaching up into the night sky and the horrifying collapse of Viollet Le Duc’s 1860s flèche (spire), though, fortunately, the statues of the 12 Apostles at its base were removed last week. (The Art Newspaper)