Word Confusion: Wait versus Weight

Posted July 13, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Wait Training. Hmmm, I suppose if you’re impatient all the time, you may need to be trained in how to be more patient, you know, how to wait your turn and all that. Then again, if you’re planning to take up a training regimen to build up muscle and improve your strength, you may want to find a line that offers up Weight Training.

This Word Confusion pair is 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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Wait Weight
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: weight

A three- to six-people wide line stretches around the block

“Thousands of people wait in line for their turn to embark on a tour of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67)” is a U.S. Navy photo, US Navy 040319-N-0000K-104, in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Two men lifting a huge round weight

“Justin Mayo Muscle Strong in Beastmode” is Eli Rosenbaum’s own work under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons

Oh, yeah, baby, lift them weights!

Part of Grammar:
Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: waits
Past tense or past participle: waited
Gerund or present participle: waiting

Noun 1, 2; Verb, transitive 1

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: weights
Past tense or past participle: weighted
Gerund or present participle: weighting

singular] A period of waiting

  • An act or instance of waiting or awaiting
    • Delay
    • Halt
  • A period or interval of waiting

[British; archaic; waits] Street singers of Christmas carols

  • [Historical] Official bands of musicians maintained by a city or town to play music in parades, for official functions, etc.
    • A street musician, especially a singer
    • One of a band of carolers
    • A piece sung by carolers, especially a Christmas carol

[Theater] The time between two acts, scenes, or the like

[Obsolete] A watchman

Verb, intransitive:
Stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens

  • [Wait for or on] Stay where one is or delay action until someone arrives or is ready
  • Remain in readiness for some purpose
  • Be left until a later time before being dealt with

[Cannot wait] Used to indicate that one is eagerly impatient to do something or for something to happen

Act as a waiter or waitress, serving food and drink

Verb, transitive:
Stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens

[Informal] Defer (a meal) until a person’s arrival

Act as a waiter or waitress, serving food and drink

[Archaic; of things] To be in readiness for

  • Be reserved for
  • Wait

[Archaic] To attend upon or escort, especially as a sign of respect

A body’s relative mass or the quantity of matter contained by it, giving rise to a downward force 1

  • The heaviness of a person or thing
  • [Physics] The force exerted on the mass of a body by a gravitational field
  • The quality of being heavy
  • A unit or system of units used for expressing how much an object or quantity of matter weighs
  • A piece of metal known to weigh a definite amount and used on scales to determine how heavy an object or quantity of a substance is
  • The amount that a jockey is expected or required to weigh, or the amount that a horse can easily carry
  • The surface density of cloth, used as a measure of its quality

A heavy object, especially one being lifted or carried.

  • A heavy object used to give an impulse or act as a counterweight in a mechanism
  • A heavy object propelled by a shot-putter
  • [Weights] Blocks or discs of metal or other heavy material used in weightlifting or weight training

The ability of someone or something to influence decisions or actions

  • The importance attached to something
  • [Statistics] A factor associated with one of a set of numerical quantities, used to represent its importance relative to the other members of the set

[Narcotics] The amount of narcotics an addict needs for a week 2

Verb, transitive:
Hold something down by placing a heavy object on top of it 1

  • Make something heavier by attaching a heavy object to it, especially so as to make it stay in place

Attach importance or value to

  • [Be weighted] Be planned or arranged so as to put a specified person, group, or factor in a position of advantage or disadvantage
  • [Statistics] Multiply the components of (an average) by factors to take account of their importance

Assign a handicap weight to a horse

Treat a fabric with a substance to make it seem thicker and heavier

We had a long wait.

We had such a long wait at the border.

The conductor says there will be a long wait between trains.

We have a long wait between the second and third scene.

I thought London had their own waits?

The wait singers are coming.

He was lying in wait for his prey.

Verb, intransitive:
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.

Just you wait, young man.

He did not wait for a reply.

We’re waiting for Allan to get back.

They will wait on a Supreme Court ruling.

Ben stood on the street corner waiting to cross.

He sits on the corner waiting for Mary.

She was waiting on her boyfriend.

He found the train waiting at the platform.

We shall need a statement later, but that will have to wait.

I can’t wait for tomorrow.

I can’t wait to get started again.

A local man was employed to wait on them at table

Verb, transitive:
Just you wait until your father gets home.

I had to wait my turn to play.

He will wait supper for me.

We had to wait tables in the mess hall.

She’ll have to wait her turn.

Glory waits for thee.

Gregory waits on me.

He was at least 175 pounds in weight.

Weight is the force exerted on a body by gravity.

Well, that’s a weight off Karen’s mind.

If you could throw your weight behind my proposal, it would pass, and it would be a weight off my mind.

Elaine carries the weight of the world on her shoulders.

As he came upstairs, the boards creaked under his weight.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the UK used three different systems for mass and weight: troy weight, avoirdupois weight, and apothecaries’ weight.

George can deadlift a set of 589-pound weights.

Man o’ War was retired in 1921 to avoid the even heavier weights he would have been assigned.

Cheesecloth has a very light weight as it is a loose-woven gauze-like cotton cloth used primarily in cheese making and cooking.

Young Todd has put on quite a bit of weight since last I picked him up.

Batiste ranges in weight from low to medium.

Traction lifts, funfair rides, and cranes require a weight that balances or offsets another weight.

The shot is a weight used in shot putting.

I started with three-pound weights for my wrists and moved up to five-pounds within two weeks.

A recommendation by the committee will carry great weight.

Individuals differ in the weight they attach to various aspects of a job.

A weight function is a mathematical device used when performing a sum, integral, or average to give some elements more influence on the result than other elements in the same set.

If sheers tangling due to the wind is making you crazy, consider sewing a channel in the hem and inserting a string of weights.

I’m going up there to give the bitch her weight for the week.

Verb, transitive:
But I thought she put a mug half filled with coffee to weight down that stack of papers.

Back in the day, they used muslin veils weighted with colored beads to keep the flies out of the milk jug.

Speaking, reading, and writing should be weighted equally in the assessment.

The balance of power is weighted in favor of the government and even more in favor of the lobbyists who seduce the politicians.

Assembling an accurate set of statistics frequently requires weighting the results to compensate for bias.

A handicap race means that the horses are weighted to give each one an equal chance of winning.

Weighting silk with metallic salts makes it heavier.

Noun: lady-in-waiting, waiter, waiting, waitperson, waitress, waitressing, waitron, waitstaff Adjective: weight-watching, weightier, weightiest, weightless, weighty
Adverb: weightily, weightlessly
Noun: counterweight, self-weight, weight-watcher, weight-watching, weighter, weightiness, weighting, weightlessness, weightlifter, weightlifting
Phrasal Verb
wait on
wait upon
wait up
History of the Word:
Middle English from the Old Northern French waitier is of Germanic origin. Early senses included lie in wait (for), observe carefully, and be watchful. 1 Old English (ge)wiht is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch wicht and the German Gewicht.

2 1960s through today.

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:

“Worth the Weight Wait” is courtesy of Yodercross, via Etsy.