Posted by: patti | January 7, 2009

Pairs (Word Play Wednesday)

My friend Sarah supplies this week’s Word Play.  She e-mailed me the question, confident that I’d be as stumped as she and her friends had been.  When I was not, she cheerfully replied with expletives.

So, try your hand at it:

What common English noun has one meaning and pronunciation when it is capitalized, and a completely different meaning and pronunciation when lowercased?  Except for the initial cap, the two words are spelled exactly the same.

Sarah had one word pair in mind, but I’ve come up with five more.  Can you think of all six?

Answers are easily google-able, so please only post guesses in the comments if you aren’t cheating.

Bonus question:  What’s the term for this kind of word?



  1. I can only come up with one – Polish and polish… and I think if you polish a Polish in public, you may be facing jail time.

    As for what its called… i’ll go with ‘you wonder why foreign people have problems with english’

  2. Hey Little Brother: Now I can’t think of anything but Polish jokes.

  3. Not all Catholics have catholic taste.

  4. Dalia – if all you can think of is Polish jokes… I think my work here is done…

  5. Do they eat limas in Lima?

  6. Did Job have a job?

  7. I was reading this great book in Reading, PA

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