Maid and made 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 two words made and maid, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.
Made is the past tense of make, which means to manufacture something, to prepare something or invent something, either tangible or intangible. To make something means to bring it into existence. Make is also used to mean to force someone to do something through coercion, either physical or mental. Make also means to accomplish something or to be successful. The word made is derived from the Old English word macod, which is the past participle of the word macian meaning to make.
A maid is a female housekeeper or domestic worker who is hired to do physical housework. A maid may work in a private home or in a commercial establishment such as a hotel or spa. Maid may also refer to an unmarried young woman, but this is an archaic definition that is rarely used today except when referring to a maid of honor in a wedding. In fact, the word maid is an abbreviated form of the word maiden or maidservant. The plural form is maids.
Whenever he’s played in front of cameras (Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Tahoe Celebrity), he’s not once made a cut or finished in the top half among the celebs. (The Atlantic)
Despite facing public criticism when Alexion Pharmaceuticals relocated its headquarters from New Haven to Boston last summer, Connecticut actually made money on the deal. (The New Haven Register)
But it’s big enough that after the initial accusation, made by Lucy Flores, a candidate for Nevada lieutenant governor back in 2014, who said that during a campaign rally Biden put his hands on her shoulders and kissed her hair, he made a statement that he didn’t believe he’d acted inappropriately but would listen respectfully to any such suggestion. (The Guardian)
Inquire about the company’s policy on background checks for workers and about how the housecleaning service stores and protects your house keys, says Meg Roberts, president of Molly Maid, a professional maid service franchise company. (U.S. News & World Report)
It comprises maid services, window cleaning, floor cleaning, carpet & upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning services, which are used by residential and commercial consumers. (The Rochester Leader)
“Maid,” Stephanie Land’s memoir from her days of scrubbing other people’s toilets, starts with this woeful sentence: “My daughter learned how to walk in a homeless shelter.” (The Salisbury Post)