Licker vs liquor

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Licker and liquor are two words that are pronounced in the same fashion but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will examine the definitions of the words licker and liquor, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Licker describes someone or something that caresses things with its tongue, that passes its tongue over something in order to taste it or moisten it. The word licker is an agent noun, which is a noun that denotes someone or something that carries out the action of a verb. Licker is derived from the Old English word liccian, and the agent noun ending, -er.

Liquor is a synonym for alcohol, usually a fermented drink that has been distilled. Distillation is basically the process of taking a fermented liquid and purifying it which removes water and therefore makes the concentration of alcohol higher. In North America, hard liquor is a common synonym. As a verb, to liquor something is to either coat it with oil or grease, or it can mean to drink enough alcohol to become drunk. The latter definition is usually used with the preposition up.


In dermatology circles, lip dryness is referred to as “lip licker dermatitis,” a not-so-fancy term for a very common condition. (OUT Magazine)

Since 2012, Kyoto has been plagued by the perpetrator of a series of criminal acts of podophilia whom cops had dubbed “the foot licker”. (The Register)

Decatur’s commission has approved amendments to the alcoholic beverage ordinance allowing for the sale of packaged liquor, beer and wine from the same the retail store. (The Atlantic Journal Constitution)

This has prompted some speculation that Amazon could be looking at some Australian businesses such as Metcash, the wholesale distribution and marketing company specialising in grocery, fresh produce, liquor, hardware and other fast-moving consumer goods. (The Canberra Times)