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heteronym (HET-uhr-uh-nim) noun

A word that has the same spelling as another word but with a different pronunciation and meaning.

In the following poem, each end-word is heteronymic:

Listen, readers, toward me bow.
Be friendly; do not draw the bow.
Please don't try to start a row.
Sit peacefully, all in a row.
Don't act like a big, fat sow.
Do not the seeds of discord sow.

In a pure heteronymic pair, the two words must be etymologically unrelated, as in bass, buffet, deserts, dove, entrance, lead, moped, unionized, wind, and wound.

This week's theme: Naming the nyms, by Richard Lederer.


A full cup must be carried steadily. -English proverb

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