Rood vs rude

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Rood and rude are two 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 rood and rude, the word origin of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

A rood is a cross or crucifix, particularly one that is large and positioned as the center of attention in a church. Medieval churches often have a large rood positioned above a rood screen or near the altar. The word rood is also an archaic British term for a land measurement of approximately a quarter of an acre. The word rood is derived from the Old English word rōd, which means pole or cross.

Rude means offensive, ill-mannered, impolite. Rude may also be used to mean something that is rough-hewn, in which case it is said to be rudely made. Rude is an adjective, related words are ruder, rudest. The word rude is derived from the Latin word rudis, which means crude or ignorant.


The red demon hangs, mid-air, in the turret where there once was a spiral staircase leading to a loft above the church’s 15th century rood screen – now long gone, a doorway high above the nave the only sign that it ever existed. (Eastern Daily Press)

“He was known among his brother priests as having beautiful vestments from Spencer Abbey and the Holy Rood Guild. … If someone needed vestments for a large celebration, they would contact Lloyd and he would see they got them — matching of course.” (The Baltimore Sun)

According to various studies (cited in a moment herein), supposedly the brand of car is a telltale indicator of how rude a driver sits behind the wheel of the vehicle. (Forbes Magazine)

I am rude and unmannerly and I say many things out of turn which I realise afterwards must have hurt someone. (The Daily Express)