Confusing Words from Hoar to Holly

What is hoar and what does it have to do with frost? If you store away a lot of goods for future use, do you hoard or horde? Would you ride a hoarse or a horse? Does water spray out of a hoes or hose?


hoar, whore
Hoar is a shortened way of saying hoarfrost. What is hoarfrost? It is a deposit of needle-like ice crystals formed on the ground by direct condensation at temperatures below freezing point. Also called white frost. Basically, it is a type of frost, and it is beautiful.
On this cold morning, my mailbox was covered with feathery crystals of hoar.
A whore is a harlot or prostitute, a lady of the night.
The woman who walked the streets each night was known to be a whore.

compulsive hoarding in an apartment, wikimedia commons

hoard, horde, whored
To hoard (verb) is to accumulate or gather goods to put away for future use. A hoard (noun) would be these accumulated goods that have been stored for future use. Compulsive, unorganized hoarding can lead to a mess.
Under the threat of impending doom, the woman began to hoard everything she could.
A horde is a huge crowd of people. It is also a large group of animals.
A horde of sheep blocked traffic from continuing down the road.
Whored means to have engaged in promiscuous sexual intercourse, usually for money.
With no job to be had in the near future, the desperate woman whored each night away so she could have a bit of money to live on.

horse galloping in water, wikimedia commons

hoarse, horse
When one is hoarse, one has a vocal tone characterized by weakness of intensity and excessive breathiness. One’s voice could also be said to be rough or husky.
Anita would drink hot tea with lemon to soothe her hoarse throat.
A horse is a solid-hoofed plant-eating domesticated mammal with a flowing mane and tail, used for riding, racing, and to carry and pull loads.
The retired racing horse was bought by someone who had just learned to ride.

hoe, wikimedia commons

hoes, hose
More than one of any of several kinds of long-handled hand implements equipped with a light blade and used to till the soil, eradicate weeds, etc. would be hoes. Hoes is also a verb that means to dig, scrape, weed, or till (surface soil).
The hardware store sold many types of hoes.
A hose is a flexible tube for conveying a liquid, as water, to a desired point. Hose are also articles of clothing for the foot and lower part of the leg; stockings or socks
Once the hose was done being used for watering the garden, the children used it in their game of tag.

holed potato chip, wikimedia commons

hold, holed
As a verb, hold has many meanings. It can mean to grasp, to set aside, to detain, etc. As a noun, it can be an order reserving something, a controlling force, something to hold a thing by, etc.
Grab hold of my hand, and I’ll pull you up.
If an item, such as a potato chip, is holed, it has had a hole made in it.
Theo stared in amazement at the holed potato chip. 

hole, whole
A hole is an opening or hollow space.
A hole was left behind after the tree was uprooted.
Whole means complete.
The whole neighborhood is in agreement.

winter holly berries, flickr

holey, holly, holy, wholly
Holey means full of holes.
The holey shirt is the most comfortable.
Holly is a type of bush, especially with red berries. It is also a girl’s name.
Holly planted a holly bush.
Holy means sacred.
The ground upon which you are standing is holy ground.
Wholly means entirely.
The decision is wholly up to you.

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