Word Confusion: Bazaar versus Bizarre

Posted March 9, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Revised as of 16 August 2017

It is a bazaar system but it is what we have.

While I agree with the intention of the sentence…at least…I assume this writer meant “we have a very strange political situation” and not a reflection on our system’s preference for capitalism???

Depending upon pronunciation, this Word Confusion pair can be an heterograph.

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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Bazaar Bizarre
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

Spice market in Istanbul

“Spice Market Istanbul 2013” is Karelj’s own work under the GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0 licenses, via Wikimedia Commons

A spice bazaar! I wanna go…!

Faces and Yarn dress

“Yarn and Faces Dress” photo by Victor Fraile on Getty Images courtesy of Hong Kong Fashion Week S/S 2010.

Okay, now this is bizarre!

Part of Grammar:
Plural for noun: bazaars
A market in a Middle Eastern country

  • A fundraising sale of goods, typically for charity
  • [Dated] A large shop selling miscellaneous goods
Very strange or unusual in appearance, style, or general character, especially so as to cause interest or amusement
Often involves incongruous or unexpected elements

  • Outrageously or whimsically strange
  • Odd
I’d forgotten that the church bazaar was next week.

The Egyptian bazaars are so colorful.

Many retailers of different trades rented stalls in the bazaars on a permanent basis.

The Sunday bazaar should have some brass bowls and hookahs.

It’s those bizarre dresses and outrageous hairdos of hers…!

His behavior was so bizarre!

Some of those fashion are beyond bizarre.

It is a bizarre system but it is what we have.

Adverb: bizarrely
Noun: bizarreness , bizarrerie
History of the Word:
Late 16th century from the Italian bazarro, which is from the Turkish, which is from the Persian bāzār meaning market. Mid-17th century from the French, which is from the Italian bizzarro meaning angry.

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:

Ukranian photographer “Julia Kissina’s Meaty Wig Art” from her Feen series, which can be found in The Uncool Hunter’s post, 9 October 2016; Jason Soy’s article, “Bizarre Butchered Meat Photography“, features Sarah Williams’ “deli-bought subjects”; and, Sebastien-M’s Picnic Salad.