Quince vs quints

  • Quince and quints are two words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will examine the difference between the definitions of quince and quints, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.


    Quince is a small, hard, pear-shaped, bitter fruit or the bush that this fruit grows on. Quince is a member of the Rosaceae family, which includes pears and apples. Quince must be cooked in order to be edible, it is used in pastries and preserves. The word quince is ultimately derived from the Greek term kydonion malon, which means apple of Kydonia.


    Quints is an abbrevitaion which means a set of quintuplets, which is a set of five children who are born at the same time to the same mother. Quints is primarily a North American phrase. Perhaps the most famous set of quintuplets is the Dionne quintuplets, born in Ontario, Canada in 1934. They are the first known set of quintuplets in which all of the babies survived after birth. The quintuplets endured many years of scrutiny and exploitation. The word quintuplet was first used in the 1880s as a back formation of the word quintuple, the term quints soared in popularity at the birth of the Dionne quintuplets.


    Don’t be fooled by the “quince” in the name: Japanese chaenomeles isn’t a tree, it’s a shrub that can be trained as a hedge or wall climber, or left shrub-shaped. (The Guardian)

    She is also to be lauded for including how-to-use directions and recipes for fruits I do not normally use in cooking like quince and cantaloupe. (The Myrtle Beach Sun News)

    Already parents to daughter Blayke, 5, and with the quints now just over a year old, Danielle and Adam are poised to share their story on TLC’s upcoming show OutDaughtered, which chronicles how the family of three became a family of eight overnight. (People Magazine)

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