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Ball as in 'sphere' comes from Norse 'bǫllr' /bɔlːr/, while ball as in 'dance party' comes from Latin 'ballare', which in turn became 'bal' (French for 'a dance'). Totally different roots, it's just one of those quirks of English having absorbed bits of so many different languages. Edit as requested to provide a bit more detail: 'Ball' meaning 'sphere' ...


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Proper nouns can be homonyms, just like any other words. But what is a homonym? According to Merriam-Webster, the primary meaning of homonym is a word that is spelled and pronounced like another word but is different in meaning; the term can also refer to the related concepts of homophones (words that sound the same but differ in meaning or spelling) or ...


I've seen the term "homophone aphasia" used for this before, I think an eggcorn would be if you spelled the wrong homophone out of ignorance, homophone aphasia being more to do with you consciously knowing the difference and unconsciously making the mistake out of some sort of aging process, ie. "a senior moment".


I googled for rhyming dictionaries which include (at a minimum) slant rhyme, and came across the site B-Rhymes, which does, indeed, give "salient" as a match for "alien" (but does not, as I guessed, have an entry for pwn).


If your friend wrote "dropped" on the exam he wanted to drop, and the examiner subsequently told him that he should have written something that sounded like "draw up," it seems possible that the examiner was telling your friend that he should have written "drop," rather than "dropped," on the paper. The rationale for the examiner's comment might be that ...


I think the basis for "complimentary drink" is the simple fact that it comes with the "compliments of the house"; the compliment presumably being that one is a valued customer and therefore deserves special treatment in the form of a free drink. Not everyone receives a complimentary drink - except in Vegas ;)

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