Stolen vs stollen

Stolen and stollen are commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. Homophones are a group of words with different spellings, the same pronunciations, and different meanings. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. It can be difficult to learn how to spell different words that sound the same, and homophones are commonly misused words. Said aloud, the difference is less important, because the words are pronounced the same. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing even to native English speakers when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may help the listener distinguish between homophones and understand the correct spelling; the words affect-effect are a good example, but the word pairs to, too and two, bridle and bridal, creek and creak, hoard and horde, toed and towed, or horse and hoarse, are indistinguishable from each other and are easily confused and are commonly misused. Pronunciation is usually more ambiguous, as English pronunciation may vary according to dialect, and English spelling is constantly evolving. Pronunciation may change even though the spelling doesn’t, producing two words that are pronounced in the same manner but have different meanings such as night and knight. Phonological spelling and spelling rules do not always work, and most people avoid misspelling by studying vocabulary words from spelling lists, enhancing their literacy skills through spelling practice, and learning words in English by studying a dictionary of the English language. English words are also spelled according to their etymologies rather than their sound. For instance, the word threw is derived from the Old English word thrawan, and the word through came from the Old English word thurh. Homophones are confusing words and are commonly misspelled words because of the confusion that arises from words that are pronounced alike but have very different usage and etymology. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check but instead, learn to spell. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a homophone in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Homophones are often used in wordplay like puns. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words stolen and stollen, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Stolen is the past participle form of the verb steal, which means to take something without someone’s permission, to take something without paying for it, to take something that you have no right to possess. The word stolen is derived from the Old English word stelan, which means to take something that does not belong to you.

Stollen is a German yeast bread that contains fruit and nuts. The word stollen is borrowed from the German, and in German the “s” is pronounced with a “sh” sound.


Latino voters who fled dictatorships fear election was stolen from President Trump (USA Today)

A search of their vehicle revealed several items that had been reported stolen by the person renting the burglarized storage unit, Matlock added. (The Napa Valley Register)

The Dresden almond stollen, inspired by the German festive bread, made with candied orange peels and 12-month-aged rum raisins, is soaked in homemade clarified butter and best served one week after purchase to ensure the butter is evenly soaked in. (The Hong Kong Tatler)

Suthikiati Chirathivat, chairman, together with Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO, of Centara Hotels & Resorts and some of the hotel’s management team recently participated in the ceremonial “Christmas Stollen Mixing Ceremony” that precedes the festive season every year at Zing Bakery, Centara Grand at CentralWorld. (The Bangkok Post)

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