Foaled vs fold

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Foaled and fold are two commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way when spoken aloud but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language, and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may help the listener distinguish between homophones; the words affect-effect are a good example. However, 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. 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. Even a participant in a 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. We will examine the definitions of the words foaled and fold, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Foaled is the past tense of the verb to foal, which means to give birth to a foal. Obviously, the verb foal is only used when speaking about a mare that gives birth. The noun foal means a young horse or other equine animal. The word foaled is derived from the Old English word fola, meaning young horse. Related verbs are foal, foals, foaling.

Fold means to bend something in on itself, to crease paper or fabric, or to close up shop or cease playing a hand of cards, especially in the game of poker. Fold is used as a verb or as a noun to mean a crease or curve in something, or a penned area used to hold livestock. The word fold is derived from the Old English word falden meaning to bend back on itself. Related verbs are folds, folded, folding.


To this point, Close Hatches has been the most illustrious of the good racers from Juddmonte’s limited program of racing a minority of its Kentucky-foaled stock here in the States from the start of their careers. (The Paulick Report)

Horses foaled in 2018 — which can begin competing in 2020 — and thereafter will race without Lasix. (The San Francisco Chronicle)

While there still are no colonies on the moon or flying cars yet, our smartphones can do everything but fold the laundry. (The Fayetteville Observer)

That obviously wouldn’t be great for Spurrier or his Orlando Apollos but according to the former Florida and South Carolina coach, the speculation that the league could soon fold is all news to him. (Saturday Down South)