Friday, May 21, 2010

Oronyms and Homophones

prince and prints
Oronyms (or homophones) are words which sound the same. Generally the word homophone is used to describe a pair of words that have the same sound (like prince and prints; allowed and aloud), while oronyms are normally phrases such as iced ink and I stink.
When speaking, it is impossible to tell where one word ends and the next begins. The seamlessness of speech is... apparent in "oronyms," strings of sound that can be made into words in two different ways:
~~The good can decay many ways.The good candy came anyways.
~~The stuffy nose can lead to problems.The stuff he knows can lead to problems.
~~Some others I've seen.Some mothers I've seen.
Some have been discovered inadvertently by teachers reading their students' term papers and homework assignments:
~~Jose can you see by the donzerly light?[Oh say can you see by the dawn's early light?]
~~It's a doggy-dog world.[It's a dog-eat-dog world.]
~~Eugene O'Neill won a Pullet Surprise.[Eugene O'Neill won a Pulitzer Prize.]
Here are some more phrases that sound the same:
~~A politician's fate often hangs in a [delicate / delegate] balance.
~~Any [grey day / grade A] would be bad news for one professor I know.
~~I don't know how [mature / much your] people enjoy such a show.
~~I have [known oceans / no notions] that you yourself couldn't imagine.
~~If you listen you can hear the [night rain / night train].
~~I'm taking [a nice / an ice] cold shower.
~~Reading in the library is sometimes [allowed / aloud].
~~That's the [biggest hurdle / biggest turtle] I've ever seen!
~~[White shoes: / Why choose] the trademark of Pat Boone?
~~You'd be surprised to see a [mint spy / mince pie] in your bank.
Here is a well-known poem that written almost entirely with homophones~
Eye Halve A Spelling Chequer
(I Have a Spelling Checker)
Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rarely ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect in it's weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.
(Sauce unknown)
There have been a few times I wish spell-check
could catch those kind of errors! LOL!
If you want to have more fun with words, click
on my "word games" label at the end of this post!
Pictures from google, info from funwithwords.com


  1. Oh what a fascinating post! I appreciate the lesson!

    Have a great night!


  2. Nancy ~ it was grate two sea ewe hear! LOL!

  3. oh your making my head hurt...lol. it doesnt make sense but it does...my son sings. Jose can you see....

  4. Brian ~ my little sister used to sing "With the jelly toast proclaim" LOL! (hark the herald)

  5. Very entertaining! A lot of those can become horrible puns.

  6. Taxing on this old brain at this late hour, but fun to read!

  7. So mind boggling! I don't even want to go there! But is is amazing these words we speak! Come say hi :D

  8. what a beautiful words play.
    your post rocks!

  9. How fun and so very educational.;) I love these kind of posts.;) Have a great Friday,

  10. Oh that was a fun read, and spell!!

  11. With having spent so much of my life having to depend - to some extent or another - on lip-reading I have grown to hate oronyms and homophones. They have got me in a good deal of trouble over the years as well, including an unfortunate lascivious interpretation of my lip-reading teacher's declaration that she brushed her pies with a pastry brush!

  12. Alan ~ eye can sea how that could get ewe inn a lot of trouble! LOL!

  13. My husband used to build stores in commercial locations. He was not impressed with much of what he saw. I once told a friend, "He hates the mall." She heard, "He hates them all." Big difference there.

    How about...
    "Forget about your worries and your stripes" (That should have been "strife" but my three year old cousin didn't know.)
    And then there was my brother who prayed for the "greased chicken" because he had heard Mom lift prayers for the "grief stricken".

  14. Martha ~ those are SO funny. It's all in how you hear it!

  15. That made me hurt too, Brian......lol

  16. It reminded me of the Santa Clause "there a Rose Sutchuck Ladder" from the Rose Sutchuck Ladder Company, of course :)

    fyi - in case you didn't see the movie, it's 'there arose such a clatter"

  17. I have a small group of third graders that I work with and we have thoroughly explored homophones. Next we should move on to oronyms . . .

  18. Oronyms = Most of the songs I sing along with.

  19. Clever post - I love word plays. I specially like the Pullet Surprise - free eggs forever...!


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