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2
votes
1answer
116 views

Homonyms/homophones and proper nouns

I introduced my 6-year-old to the concept of "homonyms" (though I've probably got it conflated with homophones or vice-versa). Since then he's been trying to find homonyms. He asked me just now: "Can ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Is there a term for the convergent evolution of homonyms?

Some homonyms, like "punch", originated in different languages with different spellings. The violent act "punch" comes from the English word "pounce", while the beverage "punch" comes from the Hindi ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

What is the word for a phrase which uses a homonym with two of its meanings?

For example, the phrase "I'm stuck on Band-Aid and Band-Aid's stuck on me" or "He books time to read books".
10
votes
2answers
654 views

What do you call it when someone misunderstands a homonym? [duplicate]

I once ran across a term for the error of misunderstanding the meaning or sense of a word because one doesn't know exactly what the word is. For example, someone mistakenly thinks that the phrase is ...
4
votes
2answers
443 views

What are “identical words” as distinct from homonyms?

The wikipedia entry on homonyms contains the following diagram: In the very center of that image is a category labeled "identical words" which is separate from the rest but is at the intersection ...
4
votes
2answers
421 views

Are homonyms considered single words?

There are many homonyms in the English language, words that are spelled the same and pronounced the same but have different meanings. A few examples: A grizzly bear can bear great weight. I stake ...
1
vote
1answer
510 views

“They are there.” and “They're there.” versus “There they are.” and “There they're.”

Are any of the phrases in the title incorrect in any way? Do the meanings differ in any way? Is one preferred over the other and if so then why? I find this particularly interesting for many reasons ...
2
votes
3answers
531 views

Equivalent of homonym for terms and phrases

A homonym is a word with two distinct meanings, for instance: chase (from dict.org) To pursue for the purpose of killing or taking, as an enemy, or game; to hunt. [1913 Webster] ...
3
votes
1answer
985 views

How did homonyms come into existence?

Words like bank, bat, bear, fine, fair, number, row, etc., each have multiple meanings but are pronounced and spelled in the same way. How can one word mean different things?
-5
votes
1answer
270 views

Is there a difference between “jamb” and “jam”?

Is there a difference between jamb and jam? I recently wrote a letter describing someone who had jambed their hand on a stair bannister and the usage was questioned.
3
votes
2answers
601 views

Are the noun and verb forms of “badger” related etymologically?

Are the noun "badger", naming an animal, and the verb "to badger", describing the behavior of a person, related etymologically? Does the meaning of one come directly from the other? What about the ...