We are big fans of language here at Content Cucumber. When you truly think about it, it is just incredible what you can convey with words. With all of our time spent creating with language, we have realized that there are a few funky things about it.

For one, some words can sound exactly the same but mean something completely different.

If you take a quick trip down memory lane to about third grade, you might remember that these funny little words are called “homophones.”

According to the Oxford Royale, “homophone” came from the Greek roots “homo,” which means “same” and “phone,” which means voice. Therefore, homophones are words that have identical phonetic sounds, but different semantic meanings.

Grammar police actively hunt for misused homophones, like “your” vs “you’re” or “to,” “too,” and “two,” but homophones can actually be somewhat entertaining. (Seriously, just stick with us here!)

Some Funny Homophones

Most people are aware of the common (boring) homophones that teachers and language lovers enjoy correcting. When you get a bit creative, you can actually come up with some humorous homophones.

Take the word “misread” for example.

Have you ever thought that it sounds the same as “Miss Red” and “Miss Read”? Probably not, but here’s a really entertaining sentence combining them:

Miss Red misread the story to Miss Read.

Now here are a few others we like, with some funky sentences combining them:

  • Brake vs Break

           Brake so we can take a break.

  • Here vs hear

           Did I hear you say to come here?

  • Deer vs dear

           Oh, dear! Watch out for that deer!

  • Compliment vs complement

           The complementary cutlery comes complimentary with the purchase of dishware.

And now for the grand finale…

The seven meanings of words that sound like “raise”

  • Rays: sunbeams
  • Raze: to knock down something
  • Rehs: sodium salt mixtures
  • Raise: to lift something up
  • Réis: the plural of real (the currency of Portugal and Brazil)
  • Res: plural of re, as in the musical scale
  • Rase: to erase something

Creating a (non-run-on) sentence from these seven homophones is near impossible, so here is a super short story instead:

Midday in August, the rays beamed down, breathing fire to the ground and rasing all of the moisture from the grass. I spotted réis on the asphalt, and as I raised them up, they scorched my hand, causing me to raze a jar of rehs. I let out a scream, more akin to a long stream of res. All was not lost, as I took my new réis to purchase a new pair of Ray’s (ray bans).

Ta-da!

While it may not be of Shakespearean quality, that little blurb was a fun little mental challenge.

Now we challenge you!

What are your favorite homophones and how can you combine them?

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