Pea and pee are two 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 pea and pee, the word origin of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.
A pea is a plant that belongs to the pea family or the edible seed or pod produced by such a plant. A pea is usually green and spherical. Many varieties of legumes are called peas in various parts of the world. Varieties include the familiar English green pea, black-eyed pea, sugar snap pea, snow pea, Crowder pea, field pea, purple hull pea, etc. Many peas grow in inedible pods, but some pods are tender and are meant to be consumed. The word pea is derived from the Latin word pisum, which means pea.
Pee is an informal term that means urine or to urinate. Related words are pees, peed, peeing. The word pee should not be used in formal or business conversation. Pee is a euphemism for the word piss, and only came into use in the latter 1800s.
Hands up if you’re a pea lover – these tasty little veg are full heart healthy vitamins and minerals. (The Courier)
To make them, whir cooked sweet peas with a brightening splash of lemon juice and zest in a food processor, along with olive oil, salt and pepper, to transform the vegetable into a gorgeous, green spread. (The Oakland Press)
In one, she’s accused of hitting a man with her BMW — although she told deputies she was too high on cocaine to remember doing so — and in another, she tried to pee on a deputy arresting her for a domestic violence incident, arrest reports show. (The Tampa Bay Times)
That will only turn the smell of cat pee into cat pee with an overtone of freshly baked cookies! (The Times Record)