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Homonyms are words that sound the same but are spelled differently and mean different things. In the sentence "The two boys want to play too." the three highlighted words are pronounced identically, but in each case the spelling is different. To, too, and two are homonyms.

There are hundreds of pairs of homonyms in the English language, far too many for us to list them all here. So we will concentrate on groups of homonyms in which three (sometimes more) words are all pronounced identically.

You may find that in the dialect you speak, some of these are not actually homonyms. There tend to be far more homonyms in American and Scottish varieties of English, for example, than standard British English. This is because standard British English distinguishes more vowel sounds, and thus some of the words listed below would not be pronounced identically by some speakers.

Homonym Groups

Here are 88 groups of three or more English homonyms, listed in alphabetical order.


Homonym Poem (Oronym)

An Ode to the Spelling Chequer

Prays the Lord for the spelling chequer
That came with our pea sea!
Mecca mistake and it puts you rite
Its so easy to ewes, you sea.

I never used to no, was it e before eye?
(Four sometimes its eye before e.)
But now I've discovered the quay to success
It's as simple as won, too, free!

Sew watt if you lose a letter or two,
The whirled won't come two an end!
Can't you sea? It's as plane as the knows on yore face
S. Chequer's my very best friend

I've always had trubble with letters that double
"Is it one or to S's?" I'd wine
But now, as I've tolled you this chequer is grate
And its hi thyme you got won, like mine.

                        Janet E. Byford

A similar poems is in our oronym section. Homonyms are very closely related to oronyms and homophones. Also on a similar theme to oronyms are mondegreens. Why not visit the mondegreens page of our malapropisms section to find out more?

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