Word Confusion: Board versus Bored

Posted August 17, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions

It surprised me, this pair of word confusion heterographs, when I read about the boreds a character was bringing into his workshop. If the guy has a workshop, I’d’ve thought he’d know he was carrying boards.

Huh, I never thought that maybe he was bringing in a number of bored characters…?

Do be aware that the accepted constructions for bored are bored by or bored with. The current usage of bored of is handy for dialect, but not for standard English.

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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Board Bored
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: board

Angled look at a set of press boards used in bookbinding

“Bookbinding Brass Edged Press Boards” courtesy of Affordable Binding Equipment is under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license, via Visual hunt

Bearded man in robe writing on a slanted desk, looking bored

“Image from page 19 of ‘The work of the Open Court Publishing Co'” courtesy of Internet Archive Book Images has no known copyright restrictions, via Visualhunt

He’s either bored…or thinking.

Part of Grammar:
Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: boards
Past tense or past participle: boarded
Gerund or present participle: boarding

Past tense or past participle for bore

Adjective 1 and 2;
Verb, intransitive & transitive 3

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: bores
Gerund or present participle: boring

A long, thin, flat piece of wood or other hard material, used for floors or other building purposes

  • [Informal; the boards] The stage of a theater

A thin, flat, rectangular piece of wood or other stiff material used for various purposes, in particular:

  • A vertical surface on which to write or pin notices
  • A horizontal surface on which to cut things, play games, or perform other activities
  • A flat insulating sheet used as a mounting for an electronic circuit
  • The piece of equipment on which a person stands in surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, and certain other sports
  • [boards] The wooden structure surrounding an ice-hockey rink
  • [Basketball, informal; usually boards] Term for backboard, referring specifically to rebounding
  • [Bookbinding; boards] Pieces of thick stiff cardboard or, originally, wood used for book covers
  • [Building Trades] Composition material made in large sheets

[Treated as singular or plural noun] A group of people constituted as the decision-making body of an organization

The provision of regular meals when one stays somewhere, in return for payment or services

  • [Archaic] A table set for a meal

[Sailing] A distance covered by a vessel in a single tack

Verb, intransitive:
Get on or into a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle

Live and receive regular meals in a house in return for payment or services

  • [Of a student] Live at school during the semester in return for payment

Ride on a snowboard

Verb, transitive:
Get on or into a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle

  • [Of an aircraft; be boarding] Be ready for passengers to embark

Provide a person or animal with regular meals and somewhere to live in return for payment

[Board something up] Cover or seal a window, storefront, or other structure with pieces of wood

Feeling weary because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one’s current activity 1

[In combination; of a gun] Having a specified bore 2

Verb, intransitive:
To make a hole in a solid substance with a rotary cutting instrument

[Machinery] To enlarge a hole to a precise diameter

[Of a substance] To admit of being bored

Verb, transitive:
To pierce a solid substance with some rotary cutting instrument

To make a hole by drilling with such an instrument

To form, make, or construct a tunnel, mine, well, passage, etc., by hollowing out, cutting through, or removing a core of material

[Machinery] To enlarge a hole to a precise diameter with a cutting tool within the hole, by rotating either the tool or the work

To force an opening, as through a crowd, by persistent forward thrusting (usually followed by through or into)

  • To force or make a passage

To weary by dullness, tedious repetition, unwelcome attentions, etc. 3

The loose boards creaked as I walked on them.

Whole sections of board were missing.

Ah, yes. In my youth, I trod the boards.

Pin the notice up on the board, and we’ll see who responds.

Get out the game boards!

No, use the ironing board.

I had to replace the graphics board.

Dude! Great board!

“He was tripped up by Jake Allen (inadvertently) while going in for a scoring chance and was unable to brace himself as he went head-first into the boards” (NBC Sports).

Forwards shut down their men, then box out, grab boards, play the passing lanes, help down low, block shots etc…” (Bleacher Report).

Publishers have a choice of a variety of rigid or flexible boards these days: Davey’s, eterno, red flex, bristol, blue gray Kraft Paper, barrier, and green millboard are some of them.

He sits on the board of directors.

The Federal Reserve Board is the main governing body of the Federal Reserve System, the central bank of the United States.

They’re in a board meeting.

Your room and board will be free.

Daisy, set the board for a seven-course meal.

A vessel is said to make a good board when the wind frees her on one tack; it’s a bad board when it heads her.

Corkboard makes great flooring.

Plasterboard, commonly known as drywall, comes with a variety of differences from tapered edges to different thicknesses and weights.

Verb, intransitive:
They would not be able to board without a ticket.

The cousins boarded for a while with Ruby.

Peter boards at the Worthington School for Boys.

“For a toeside traverse, keep your ankles and knees bent and tip your board on edge by driving your knees into the hill” (SnowProfessor).

Verb, transitive:
We boarded the plane for Oslo.

Flight 172 to Istanbul is now boarding at gate 37.

The dogs may have to be boarded at Riverview Pet Care.

Seven years after Katrina and the shop was still boarded up.

She got bored with staring out of the window.

They would hang around all day, bored stiff.

“The usual depth of a bored well is 50′ to 100′ — not as deep as a drilled water well” (Inspectapedia).

“The combination, with the breech-bored body of the gun, having an interior interrupted screw, the breech-block having a corresponding interrupted exterior screw, and the recessed and bored housing secured to the breech, of the ring B, fitted and adapted to reciprocate circularly in the housing, and provided with the peripherally-toothed sector a, the pinion F, engaging said sector, and the shaft of said pinion projecting through the outer face of the housing, and the crank N, applied thereto, as shown and described” (Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, p 612).

Verb, intransitive:
He bored a 7/8″ hole.

Certain types of steel do not bore well.

Verb, transitive:
Mitch bored a dozen holes in this board.

The crew bored a tunnel through the Alps.

Jason bored through the crowd as though they weren’t even there.

The topics at the conference bored me.

I’m bored by these repetitious tasks.

Joan was bored to tears.

Adjective: board-certified, boarded
Noun: boarder, boardercross, boardies, boarding, boardsailing, boardsailor, boardslide, boardwalk
Adjective: borable, boreable
Adverb: boredly
Noun: bore, boredom
Verb: bore
History of the Word:
Old English bord is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch boord and the German Bort. Bord was reinforced in the Middle English bythe by the Old French bort meaning edge, ship’s side’ and the Old Norse borth meaning board, table. 1 First recorded in 1760–70 and is of uncertain origin.

2 Old English verb borian is of Germanic origin and related to the German bohren.
3 Mid-18th century verb is of unknown origin.

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:

Polar Adjustment Ground Plate by distar97 is under the CC BY-ND license, via VisualHunt.com.