Word Confusion: Gorilla versus Guerilla

Posted May 31, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

This is another of those word confusions I don’t come across too often, but when I do, it’s definitely sigh-worthy. Although, maybe the author is confusing the hairy, unwashed aspects of guerrillas with gorillas??? Poor gorillas…LOL

Of course, gorilla has been used as a type of shorthand to quickly describe a big, violent-looking man without much brainpower.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Gorilla Guerilla
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com
Part of Grammar:
Noun
Plural: gorillas
Adjective; Noun
Plural: guerillas, guerrillas
Alternative spelling: guerrilla
Powerfully built ape with a large head and short neck, found in the forests of central Africa

[Informal] Heavily built, aggressive-looking man
Adjective:
Used to describe a type of warfare

Noun:
Member of a small independent group taking part in irregular fighting, typically against larger, regular forces

Examples:
There are three races of the gorilla family: two lowland and the mountain gorilla.

Nash only ever employs gorillas on his security teams.

Adjective:
It’s guerilla tactics.

Noun:
The town fell to the guerrillas.

History of the Word:
Allegedly from an Africa word for a wild or hairy person from the 5th or 6th century BC

In 1847, it was adopted as the specific name of the ape.

A diminutive which arose with the Peninsular War of 1808-1814; from the Spanish guerra.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

“Guerilla / Gorilla” by Kristina McKay and Derek Ruiz and courtesy of Guerilla Art.


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