Staff vs. Staph

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Staff and staph are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will examine the difference between the definitions of staff and staph, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

The word staff may mean 1.) the group of people working for a particular organization or company 2.) hiring a group of people to work for a particular organization or company 3.) a long stick used as support when hiking or as a weapon 4.) a long pole used to display a flag 5.) a musical stave. The word staff is derived from the Old English word stæf which means a walking stick or a pole.

The word staph is an abbreviation of the word staphylococcus, which is a bacterium that causes infection. Staph is the cause of a variety of skin infections such as styes and impetigo, and food poisoning such as staphylococcal enteritis. The word staphylococcus is derived from the Greek word staphyle, which means a bunch of grapes.


A woman who closed down her bank account and handed her card over to be destroyed was outraged to discover it was then used by a member of staff to buy drinks in Starbucks. (The Daily Mail)

Staff at Westland’s William P. Faust Library are currently voting on whether to unionize while Library Director Sheila Collins is on a leave of absence. (The Detroit Free Press)

It comes after Maroondah Leader reported on a Ringwood beauty parlour at the centre of a staph infection claim, which has now resumed eyelash extension procedures after being issued with prohibition and improvement notices this month. (The Herald Sun)

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