Picks, Pix or Pyx

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Picks, pix and pyx are all words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of the words picks, pix and pyx, where these terms came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Picks is the plural of the word pick, which may be used as a noun to mean a choice, a selection. Pick may also refer to a pointed tool that is used to break up hard ground, or a smaller, delicate tool used to pick at things in close work. When used as a present tense of the verb pick, picks may mean to pluck a flower from its growing place, to make a choice or selection, to pluck at something repeatedly with one’s fingers. The word pick is derived from the Old Norse word pikka which means to pick at or to peck at.

Pix is an informal word, it is an abbreviation for the word pictures, usually referring to photographs. The abbreviation pix was first used in the 1930s.

A pyx is a receptacle for the Eucharist or consecrated bread used in Christian rites. The box in which gold and silver specimens are kept at the Royal Mint is also known as a pyx. The word pyx is derived from the Greek word pyxis which means box or box-wood. The plural form of pyx is pyxes.


The Tigers went heavy on college athletes in their first 10 picks in the 2017 Major League Draft. (The Detroit News)

She picks them at their height of brightness, filling a bowl with blooms, leaves and weeds that catch her eye. (The Vineyard Gazette)

Bhopal: Patwari arrested for posting obscene pix of estranged wife (The Free Press Journal)

Yet the Russians were amazing. I went in with all my personal items, and I explained what the pyx was and the meaning of it to me — because for them, they, of course, saw it just as bread, if you will, the wafers — and yet for me [I knew] it was the Body of Christ. (The National Catholic Register)

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