Bazaar vs. bizarre

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A bazaar (sometimes bazar) is (1) a market consisting of a street lined with shops and stalls, or (2) a fair or sale at which miscellaneous items are sold, often for charitable purposes. Bizarre (not bizzare—a misspelling) is an adjective meaning strikingly unconventional and far-fetched in style or appearance. The two words are homophones, but their origins are different; bazaar has Persian roots, and bizarre comes via Spanish likely from Basque.


Shops catering to tourists in the Egyptian capital’s famed Khan al-Khalili bazaar have been hard hit by the anti-regime protests that curbed the number of visitors. [Independent]

He could also diverted attention with bizarre outbursts and strange whims that led many observers to underestimate him. [Globe and Mail]

With Marines paying for upgrades in the now-busy bazaar, Rafillh said he paints about 15 signs for bazaar shops a week. [Stars and Stripes]

Virgin Atlantic airline staff have revealed the most bizarre questions asked by passengers on flights, with “Can you turn the engines down, they’re too noisy!” topping the list. [The Australian]