Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



May 26, 2020
This week’s theme
What the h...

This week’s words
heterochromatic
homophene
heteroclite
homologate
heterography

homophene
Harry & Meghan’s wedding
A Bad Lip Reading

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

homophene

PRONUNCIATION:
(HOM-uh-feen)

MEANING:
noun: A word or phrase that, when spoken, appears to be the same as a different word or phrase on a person’s lips, for example my and pie.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek homo- (same) + phainein (to show). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bha- (to shine), which is also the source of beacon, banner, phantom, photo, phosphorus, phenomenon, fantasy, epiphany, sycophant, and apophenia. Earliest documented use: 1883.

NOTES:
Here are some more examples of words/phrases that appear the same to someone lip reading:
mark, park, and bark
“elephant juice” and “I love you”
bargain and market
What sentence can you come up with that is a homophene of another sentence? Share it below or email us at words@wordsmith.org.

USAGE:
“We had a session on homophenes which could cause misunderstanding, for example, married and buried, wet suit and wedding suit, big kiss and biscuits. Much laughter. Members volunteered their own stories of misunderstandings.”
David Lodge; Deaf Sentence; Penguin; 2009.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Satire should, like a polished razor keen, wound with a touch that's scarcely felt or seen. -Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, author (26 May 1689-1762)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2020 Wordsmith