Revised as of 17 February 2018
Flour and flower are homophones, words that sound the same but have different meanings, origins, and spelling.
Which is why it can be so disconcerting to read of someone flowering the bread board before rolling out sugar cookies. Hmmm, I wonder if some author somewhere has arranged flours in a vase?
…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.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: flour and flower|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Uncountable Noun; Verb, intransitive & transitive||Noun; Verb, intransitive & transitive|
A powder obtained by grinding grain, typically wheat, and used to make bread, cakes, and pastry
To disintegrate into minute particles
Grind and bolt
To sprinkle or dredge with flour
[Botany] Seed-bearing part of a plant, consisting of reproductive organs (stamens and carpels) that are typically surrounded by a brightly colored corolla (petals) and a green calyx (sepals)
[The flower of] The finest individuals out of a number of people or things
An ornament or adornment representing a flower
[Printing] An ornamental piece of type, especially a stylized floral design, often used in a line to decorate chapter headings, page borders, or bindings
[Slang] An effeminate man or boy (favors horticultural terms such as lily, pansy) 1
Be in or reach an optimum stage of development
To cover or deck with flowers
To decorate with a floral design
Any idea where I can get buckwheat flour?
Manioc flour is made from cassavas.
A four sifter is essential for a baker.
There are different types of flours that are best used for different recipes.
I counted up to 27 different flours.
Using a flour not specified in the recipe can ruin the outcome.
Shaking mercury in the presence of detrimental substances, or stamping in the mortar, promotes flouring.
It’s best to flour liver before cooking it.
Flouring the board makes it easier to release the cookie dough after you roll it out.
I adore brilliantly colored flowers.
I stopped to buy Bridget some flowers.
The story is all hearts and flowers.
The roses were just coming into flower.
They are the flower of college track athletes.
A young policeman in the flower of his life was gunned down.
It was in the Postmodernism era that the theory of deconstruction has flowered most extravagantly.
|Adjective: flourless, flourless, floury, unfloured
|Adjective: flowerless, flowerlike
Noun: flowering, wallflower
|History of the Word:|
|Middle English has a specific use of flower in the sense of the best part, used originally to mean the finest quality of ground wheat. The spelling flower remained in use alongside flour until the early 19th century.||Middle English flour, from the Old French flour or flor is from the Latin flos or flor-. The original spelling was no longer in use by the late 17th century except in its specialized sense of ground grain, i.e., flour.
1 1950s-plus to refer to a male homosexual.
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?
Pinterest Photo Credits
Bob’s Red Mill Amaranth Flour is courtesy of Jet.com while its origin is from the amaranthus flower. This particular amaranth is a variant known as Love-Lies-Bleeding.