Word Confusion: Hoard versus Horde

Posted June 17, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Revised as of 3 September 2017

I guess it was the influence of all those pirate movies I watched, and the books I read as a kid, ’cause when authors confuse this one, well, it always cracks me up! I mean, it just doesn’t work when…

The thundering hoards came racing up!


I hid my horde under the floorboard.

It’s gotta be a Xanthian influence for the first. As for the second, dang, that is one humongous house!

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.

If you found this post on “Hoard versus Horde” interesting, consider tweeting it to your friends. Subscribe to KD Did It, if you’d like to track this post for future updates.

Return to top

Hoard Horde
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: horde

“Jewelry Box” courtesy of Treasure Now

Someone’s hoard buried in a garden.

“The Barbarian Horde” by Brandt Józef, circa 1890, is courtesy of Inwestycje

Part of Grammar:
Adjective; Noun 1;
Verb, transitive 2

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: hoards
Past tense or past participle: hoarded
Gerund or Present participle: hoarding

Noun; Verb, intransitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: hordes
Past tense or past participle: horded
Gerund or present participle: hording

Think of stashing your hoard behind the loose board

Reserve in the mind for future use

Stock or store of money or valued objects, typically one that is secret or carefully guarded

Ancient store of coins or other valuable artifacts

Amassed store of useful information or facts, retained for future use

Verb, transitive:
Gather money or valued objects and hide or store it away

Accumulate a supply of something in a time of scarcity

Reserve in the mind for future use

[Derogatory] A large group of people

[Anthropology] A loosely knit, small social group typically consisting of about five families.

Verb, intransitive:
To gather in a horde

He held a year’s worth of hoarded resentments and grudges.

He came back to rescue his little hoard of gold.

He unearthed a hoard of Romano-British bronzes.

He had a hoard of secret information about his work.

Verb, transitive:
There were thousands of antiques hoarded by a compulsive collector.

Many of the boat people had hoarded rations.

He had hoarded a year’s worth of resentments and grudges.

He was surrounded by a horde of tormenting relatives.

A horde of screaming barbarians crested the hill.

It’s your turn to host Thanksgiving dinner for the horde this year.

Verb, intransitive:
The prisoners horded together in the compound.

Adjective: unhoarded
Noun: hoarder, hoarding
History of the Word:
1 Old English hord of Germanic origin; related to German Hort

2 Old English hordian of Germanic origin; related to German horten

Mid-16th century originally denoting a tribe or troop of Tartar or other nomads from the Polish horda which is from the Turkish ordu meaning (royal) camp.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

Return to top

Pinterest Photo Credits:

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and Sudan (Universal, 1942-450) is a movie still courtesy of iCollector.com and Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, 1944 is courtesy of Doctor Macro.com.