Shoe vs. Shoo

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Shoe and shoo are two words that are pronounced the same way but have different spellings and different meanings. They are homophones. We will look at the definitions of the words shoe and shoo, where the words come from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A shoe is a covering for a foot, usually made out of leather, cloth, rubber or plastic. The oldest shoe yet uncovered is a 5,000-year-old leather shoe discovered in Armenia. It was a size 7 (US) women’s shoe, fitted for a right foot. Shoe may also be used to describe something that is shaped like a shoe or functions as a type of shoe. Some examples are a horseshoe or a brake shoe. The word shoe may also be used as a verb to mean fitting someone for shoes or providing shoes to someone. Related words are shoes, shoed, shoeing, shod, the word shoe is derived from the Old English word scoh.

Shoo is an exhortation to go away, leave, get out. Shoo may also be used as a verb to mean to drive away, to cause a person or animal to leave the vicinity. Related words are shoos, shooed, shooing. The word shoo is possibly derived from either the German word schū, the Italian word scio or the French word shou.


Buying large shoes in Japan is a bit like trying to find a prime-time TV show that doesn’t feature at least one past or present member of AKB48: You know they exist, but it often takes perseverance and a measure of luck to track them down. (The Japan Times)

A Vermont couple says their effort to shoo away a moose that appeared to be bonding with their farm’s two cows was successful. (The Daily Progress)

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