Philly vs. Filly

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Philly and filly 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 Philly and filly, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Philly means Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; it is a short, affectionate abbreviation for the city of Philadelphia. Philly is an American term and came into use in the mid-1800s, though its popularity soared in the mid-twentieth century. The local baseball team, the Philadelphia Phillies, was established in 1883. Note that Philly is capitalized, because it is a proper name.

A filly is a young female horse. The word filly is derived from the Old Norse word, fylja, which is the feminine version of the word for foal. The plural of filly is fillies.


If you think the weather at your home is colder and snowier than Philly’s official measurements, you’re probably right (Philadelphia Inquirer)

In the days since the city cut ties with Philly Fighting COVID, the since-disgraced start-up that ran Philadelphia’s first mass-vaccination clinic at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, there has been widespread concern about whether those who participated would receive their second doses within the recommended 28-day window. (Philadelphia Magazine)

The filly becomes the 44th stakes winner out of a Bernardini daughter and the second by Medaglia d’Oro. (Thoroughbred Daily News)

“Wayne (Hughes) so graciously suggested we name the filly after my mom.” (Paulick Report)