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. Homophones are a group of words with different spellings, the same pronunciations, and different meanings. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. It can be difficult to learn how to spell different words that sound the same, and homophones are commonly misused words. Said aloud, the difference is less important, because the words are pronounced the same. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing even to native English speakers when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may help the listener distinguish between homophones and understand the correct spelling; the words affect-effect are a good example, but the word pairs to, too and two, bridle and bridal, creek and creak, hoard and horde, toed and towed, or horse and hoarse, are indistinguishable from each other and are easily confused and are commonly misused. 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. Phonological spelling and spelling rules do not always work, and most people avoid misspelling by studying vocabulary words from spelling lists, enhancing their literacy skills through spelling practice, and learning words in English by studying a dictionary of the English language. 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 in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check but instead, learn to spell. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National 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. Homophones are often used in wordplay like puns. 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)