A homonym is a type of linguistic word play with its own subsets (see Table 1 below). The two primary subsets are homographs (with the heteronym a subset of the homograph) and homophones (with its subset, heterographs).
If you break homonym apart:
Homo- means same
-onym means word, name
This means a homonym is spelled the same and sounds the same. It may also comprise one or more words (one word is the most common). Some of the Word Confusions about which I post are homonyms.
Why Writers Should Understand Word Play
I thought Sensei Michael put it very well in his post, “Homonyms, Homophones and Homographs“: that “understanding these various forms of wordplay are important in composing and appreciating poetry, puns and jokes. A child with such an understanding would be on his way towards stronger literacy and mastery of the English language”. I do know that I’d prefer to have my attention caught by humor or emotion than by a word in the wrong context.
Grammar Explanations and Word Confusions sometimes…
…involve the same words as it does here in this post on “Homonym”. Whereas a Word Confusion is a pair (or more) of words that are confused spelling-wise with each other, a Grammar Explanation may jump in because of the confusion involved in how the words are used within the structural rules and principles of English.
Sometimes I run across an example that helps explain better or another “also known as”. Heck, there’s always a better way to explain it, so if you have an idea or suggestion that makes quicker and/or better sense, I would appreciate suggestions and comments from anyone…as well as questions on issues with which you are frustrated. If you’d like to track it, bookmark this page. And consider sharing this Grammar Explanation with friends by tweeting it.
|Credit to: Buzzy Bee Riddles|
|Part of Speech: Semantics, Word Play, Figure of Speech|
|Definition: Words that sound alike and are spelled the same but have different meanings.
Homonyms may be: