Word Confusion: Boarder versus Border

Posted June 1, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Oh, lord. I couldn’t resist this one. Some story had a character doing a boarder. I couldn’t help it; it was my perverse mind. It did seem a bit dangerous since she had a needle in one hand and the other hand was holding a cloth strip pinned together, but hey, if she wants to have sex with someone while she’s sewing…

Hey, c’mon, everyone has their particular kink.

There’s the boarder and… …the border
The feared boarders never materialized.

The men the sailors thought would forcibly climb onboard the ship never showed up.

The feared borders never materialized.

Eeek, they must have been really ugly ribbons or trim!

We crossed the boarder.

Oops, probably not the guy you want to make angry.

We crossed the border.

Which country do they go into?

Boarders are flying downhill.

Must be a ski resort or a skateboarding park.

Borders are flying downhill.

Ribbons? Wallpaper trims? Patchwork strips? And what are they doing on a hill?

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. Consider sharing this Word Confusion with friends by tweeting it.

Boarder Border
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

A pirate boarding a ship, sword in hand

Image by George Edmund Varian (1865–1923)[1] [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

George Edmund Varian’s
Blackbeard Boarding Maynard’s Ships.

Whole cloth quilt with an orange print and a wide green border

Image by [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

This 18th century Netherlands cotton quilt is handpainted, pieced, quilted with a green silk border.

Part of Grammar:
Noun Noun;
Verb, intransitive & transitive

Past tense or past participle: bordered
Gerund or Present participle: bordering

A person who receives regular meals when staying somewhere, in return for payment or services

  • A student who lives at school during the semester in return for payment

A person who boards a ship during or after an attack

A person who takes part in a sport using a board, such as surfing or snowboarding

A line separating two political or geographical areas, especially countries

  • A district near a line separating two political or geographical areas

The edge or boundary of something, or the part near it

A band or strip, especially a decorative one, around the edge of something

  • A strip of ground along the edge of a lawn or path for planting flowers or shrubs

Verb, intransitive:
Form an edge along or beside (something)

Verb, transitive:
Form an edge along or beside (something)

  • [Of a country or area] Be adjacent to another country or area
  • [Usually be bordered with] Provide (something) with a decorative edge
Mrs. Henderson has taken in boarders to help pay her mortgage.

Half the students at St. Ambrose’s are boarders.

Boarders are banned at some ski resorts.

Miss Lillian is a boarder at the Weston Inn.

Boarders were not allowed in the kitchen.

All hands prepare to repel boarders!

World War II began when the German army crossed the German-Polish border in 1939.

The INS has border patrols out along the Mexican-American border.

Refugee camps are everywhere, but especially along the borders of countries.

Canada was the northern border of their distribution area.

The border between reality and his dreams wavers from day to day.

Katie added a seminole patchwork border around her Star of Texas quilt.

Jeremy used rocks to create a border between the lawn and his flower beds.

Verb, intransitive:
The park is east of San Diego, bordering on Mexico.

Sam arrived in a state of excitement bordering on hysteria.

Ukrainian borders have fluctuated over the centuries.

Verb, transitive:
Helen’s pool is bordered by palm trees.

Regions bordering the Ukraine are on alert.

The curving driveway is bordered with chrysanthemums.

History of the Word:
First known use: 1530 Late Middle English from the Old French bordeure, and ultimately of Germanic origin.

Return to top

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