Martin vs marten

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Martin and marten are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will examine the definitions of martin and marten, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A martin is a insect-eating bird that is a member of the swallow family. In North America, the purple martin is known for his prodigious ability to eat mosquitoes. For this reason, it is highly desirable to have nesting birds in the area. Home owners often erect purple martin houses designed specifically for this breed, in the hope of attracting permanent purple martin residents. When capitalized, Martin is a proper name. The word martin is derived from the Middle French word, martin.

A marten is a small mammal in the weasel family. It is primarily used for its fur, which is hypoallergenic. The North American marten, also known as the American sable, is the most commonly trapped animal in Alaska. The word marten is derived from the Old French word martrine which means marten’s fur.


The Cape is world famous for its burrowing owl population, but the purple martin has to be right up there on the “must see wildlife” list for residents and tourists. (The News-Press)

From installing wood duck, bluebird, tree swallow, purple martin, house wren, American kestrel, and bat houses, to hanging bird feeders of all types for nearly all kinds of birds . . . as well as planting various fruit-bearing trees and shrubs, I like to think that I’m contributing to the welfare of a handful of wild birds while creating a bird friendly environment for both the birds’ enjoyment as well as myself. (The Bemidji Pioneer)

Although it was not the path he set out on, in hindsight, incoming Muirlands Middle School principal Geof Martin was seemingly preordained for his new post. (La Jolla Light)

“Humboldt martens have been nearly wiped out by logging and development of their old-growth forest habitat and over-trapping,” said Nick Cady, legal director at Cascadia Wildlands, in a press release. (The Pamplin Media Group)