Word Confusion: Hardy versus Hearty

Posted July 3, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

This word confusion frequently occurs when a writer is writing about a character with a hardy laugh. Um, no. Laughter may be the best medicine, but it isn’t enough to permit that same laugh to be healthy or fit.

Perhaps that’s the key to remembering a hearty laughheart for fitness and health, and of course one needs that y on the end, therefore it is a heart-y, healthy laugh…

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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Hardy Hearty
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

“Diary From Captain Scott’s Polar Expedition” courtesy of the Telegraph

Ya gotta be hardy to go to the North Pole.

“Bob Bauer” by Pete Souza is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Do you have a hearty laugh?

Part of Grammar:
Adjective Adjective; Noun
Plural for noun: hearties

Capable of enduring difficult conditions

  • [Of a plant] Able to survive outside during winter

[Dated] Stalwart

[Informal] Full of vim

[Of a person or their behavior] Loudly vigorous and cheerful

  • [Of a feeling or an opinion] Heartfelt
  • [Of a person] Strong and healthy

[Of food] Wholesome and substantial

  • [Of a person’s appetite] Robust and healthy

[British; informal] A vigorously cheerful and sporty person.

[British; informal] Usually me hearties, a form of address ascribed to sailors

He’s quite the hardy man.

Trees along the Pacific coast of California have to be hardy to survive the wind.

Rugosa roses are hardy.

He was a hearty and boisterous character

He sang in a hearty baritone.

She had a hearty dislike for Tom.

Hearty congratulations were in order.

He’s a white-bearded but hearty man.

After that long trek, hearty meal cooked over open flames was very welcome.

Jim goes for a long walk to work up a hearty appetite for dinner.

King Henry VII was considered a hearty king.

She has a hearty laugh.

He is hale and hearty, considering his sickly childhood.

The condemned ate a hearty meal.

Avast, me hearties.

There’s my hearty.

NOTE: Be aware that hardy and hearty are interchangeable only in terms of fitness and health.
Adjective: hardier, hardiest
Adverb: hardily
Adjective: heartier, heartiest, overhearty, quasi-hearty
Noun: heartiness, overheartiness, superheartiness
History of the Word:
First known use: 13th century

Middle English in the sense of bold, daring is from the Old French hardi, past participle of hardir meaning become bold, which is of Germanic origin and related to hard. It’s similar to Old English heard and hard.

1350-1400, Middle English herti meaning courageous; spirited, zealous; loyal, faithful; and/or sagacious, wise.

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!

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

“As Good!” by Ion Chibzii from Chisinau, Moldova, 2004, is under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons.