Word Confusion: Cypress versus Cyprus

Posted December 12, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Revised as of 23 February 2018

As a member of the European Union, Cyprus probably has more rules than a grove of coniferous cypress trees has needles.

And it’s a lot easier for me [not to mention cheaper!] to decorate a cypress with tinsel, lights, and ornaments than it would be to decorate Cyprus!

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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Cypress Cyprus
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

“Italian Cypress” courtesy of Italian Notebook.

“Satellite Image of Cyprus”, January 2003, courtesy of Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC, is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Part of Grammar:
Plural noun: cypresses
Proper Noun
Plural noun: Cyprus
Evergreen coniferous tree with small, rounded, woody cones and flattened shoots bearing small, scalelike leaves

It’s of the Cupressus, Chamaecyparis, and other genera; the family is Cupressaceae

  • A tree of this type, or branches from it, as a symbol of mourning
  • Used in names of similar coniferous trees of other families
An island country in southeastern Europe, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, about 50 miles (80 km) south of the Turkish coast
The fast-growing Italian cypress is ideal for creating privacy.

The Lawson cypress can grow in both full sunlight and partial shade.

The bald cypress is the state tree of Louisiana.

The Italian countryside is divided with borders of cypress trees.

A Greek colony in ancient times, Cyprus was held by the Turks from 1571 until 1878, when it was placed under British administration.

Cypress trees may be found in graveyards in Cyprus.

History of the Word:
Middle English from the Old French cipres, which is from late Latin cypressus, from the Greek kuparissos. No one is able to agree on the origins of the island’s name.

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

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Pinterest Photo Credits

Greek Monastery is courtesy of Greek Tourism.

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