Word Confusion: Wade versus Weighed

Posted February 23, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

You have to be creative to be a writer, to weighed through…I mean, to wade through all the research, to have weighed out the perfect words…get the show down, and pull your readers in. Make them weigh in and vote for your story with their pocketbooks.

And knowing the difference between this pair of heterographs will go toward weighing the scales in your favor.

There’s a post, “Wae vs Way vs Weigh” that explores the noun weigh. If you’re interested in getting nautical, check out “Under Way vs Underway vs Under Weigh“.

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 “Wade versus Weighed” 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

Wade Weighed
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

From the bare calves down and standing in water

“29 SAM 4475” by Alec Perkins from Hoboken, USA, is under the CC BY 2.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons

Makes me want to go for a wade…!

A before and after photo

“Michael Cook, a.k.a., Drop Weight Daddy” is MiTaEm’s own work under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons

He weighed himself…and decided to drop that weight.

Part of Grammar:
Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun: wade
Third person present verb: wades
Past tense or past participle: waded
Gerund or present participle: wading

Past tense or past participle for weigh

Verb, intransitive & transitive

Third person present verb: weighs
Gerund or present participle: weighing

An act of wading

Verb, intransitive:
Walk through water or another liquid or soft substance

  • [Wade through] Read laboriously through (a long piece of writing)
  • [Wade into; informal] Get involved in something vigorously or forcefully
  • [Wade in; informal] Make a vigorous attack or intervention

To play in water

To walk through water, snow, sand, or any other substance that impedes free motion or offers resistance to movement

[Obsolete] To go or proceed

Verb, transitive:
Walk through something filled with water

To pass through or cross by wading

  • Ford

To wade a stream

Verb, intransitive:
Find out how heavy (someone or something) is, typically using scales

  • [Weigh on] Be depressing or burdensome to

Assess the nature or importance of, especially with a view to a decision or action

  • Influence a decision or action

Verb, transitive:
Find out how heavy (someone or something) is, typically using scales

  • Have a specified weight
  • Balance in the hands to guess or as if to guess the weight of
  • [Weigh something out] Measure and take from a larger quantity of a substance a portion of a particular weight

Assess the nature or importance of, especially with a view to a decision or action

  • [Weigh something against] Compare the importance of one factor with that of (another)
We had a lovely wade, didn’t we, dinkums?

We went for a wade in the shallows.

Verb, intransitive:
We waded ashore, grateful to be on dry land.

The professor has to wade through that stack of papers before tomorrow morning.

He waded into the yelling, fighting crowd.

Nicola waded in and grabbed the baby.

It was such a chore, wading through all that mud.

Verb, transitive:
Firefighters waded the waist-deep flood water.

We all waded through the swirling waters, choked with downed trees and carcasses to get to the untouched bank.

Let’s go wading in the crick!

Verb, intransitive:
His unhappiness would weigh on my mind so much.

The evidence weighed heavily against him.

Verb, transitive:
She weighed herself on the day she began her diet.

The vendor weighed the vegetables.

When the twins were born, they weighed ten pounds.

She picked up the brick and weighed it in her right hand.

She weighed out two ounces of loose tobacco.

The consequences of the move would need to be very carefully weighed.

They weighed the benefit against the risk.

The evidence weighed heavily against him.

The men have weighed anchor.

She weighed her words before she speak.

Adjective: wadable, wadeable, unwaded, unwading
Phrasal Verb
weighed someone down
weighed in
weighed in at
weighed in with
weighed into
weighed out
weighed someone up
weighed something up
History of the Word:
Old English wadan meaning move onward, also penetrate is from a Germanic word meaning go (through), from an Indo-European root shared by the Latin vadere meaning go, as in vade mecum. Old English wegan is of Germanic origin and related to wagon and wain, and to the Dutch wegen meaning weigh and the German bewegen meaning move, from an Indo-European root shared by the Latin vehere meaning convey. The early senses included transport from one place to another and raise up.

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:

“La Rouvre” is a personal picture taken by Vincent and is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. The photo of the trucks at the weigh scale is from a “Weight Watchers” post at Roadquill.