Leave — Lesson

It’s (Its) time (thyme) again for Tuesday Tricksters! It’s a quick peek (peak/pique) at some (sum) words that sound the same but (butt/butte) are not (knot/naught) the same! They have different meanings and different spellings.

Smart writers remember that spellcheck is useless with them; spellcheck’s job is to correct spelling, not usage. Smart writers — that’s you, right? — read what they’ve written. Carefully. If they’re not sure about something, they find someone else to read it. Yes, four eyes (maybe six or eight) are often far better than just two.

So (sew/sough/sow) here (hear) for (fore/four) your (you’re) enjoyment and learning are five more (moor) pairs (pears) of words.


Leave (v.): to go away; (n.): a time of being away (She’s away on leave.)

Lieve (n.): the lower edge of a garment (a hem); Dutch word meaning “dear”


Leaven (v.): to add a rising agent to dough; (n.): any agent used to make dough rise or to have a similar effect on baked goods

Levin (n.) a last name; (archaic) a bolt of lightning; a bright flame or light


Leaver (n.): someone who leaves, who goes away

Lever (n.): a bar used as a pry; a means to an end; (v.): to use a bar to pry something up or open


Less (adj.): not as much as (John has less money than Bill does.); (adv.): to a smaller degree or amount (The movie was less interesting than I expected.); (n.): a smaller amount (Sarah used less flour than I did.)

Loess (n.): a very rich, fine-grained, yellowish-brown loam of silt or clay that is deposited by the wind


Lessen (v.): to decrease; to reduce; to minimize (to lessen one’s burdens)

Lesson (n.): something learned

What do you think of these words? Are any of them new to you? I had no idea about lieve, levin, or loess! I’m not sure if I’ll ever need any of those, but it’s always interesting to realize how many words are real that I never heard of.

And for more definitions of these and other words, check out www.yourdictionary.com, which contains definitions from four or five dictionaries, so you can find ones that make sense to you.

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