Succor or Succour vs. Sucker

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Succor or succour and sucker are words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will examine the definitions of succor or succour and sucker, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Succor is aid given to someone when he is in distress, support for someone who is suffering. Succor is the American spelling, and the British spelling is succour. The word succor is derived from the Latin word succurrere which means to run to the help of.

Sucker might describe someone who is gullible or easily duped. Sucker may also mean a body part of a plant or animal that allows it to cling to a surface through suction. A sucker may also mean a plant shoot that appears away from the main stem. In America, sucker may mean a lollipop. Sucker is also used in America as a verb, to mean to trick someone. Related words are suckers, suckered, suckering. The word sucker is derived from the Old English word sucan, which means to suck, and the suffix -er which is an agent noun ending.


As activity director for Prompt Succor Nursing Facility, she is constantly coordinating events for the residents such as their annual Mardi Gras Ball and Christmas with Santa events. (The Opelousas Daily World)

On the surface, the reason Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut air, land and sea travel to the small peninsula state of Qatar this week was straightforward enough: The gulf states accused their emirate neighbor of giving succor to Islamist extremism, including the so-called Islamic State. (The New York Times)

When it comes to dealing with new world (and Gallic) orders, Phoenix’s answer to all of this is to turn to their own craftsmanship to offer succour and a response. (The Irish Times)

“If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half-hour at the table, then you are the sucker.” – Mike McDermott, “Rounders” (The New York Post)

He also said he didn’t know how many students were involved, and Principal Rob Akers said “a handful” of students possessed the red and green suckers. (The Lexington Herald-Leader)