Word Confusion: Groan versus Grown

Posted August 24, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Groan if you will, but a good writer will have grown with their work, encompassing writing and editing skills. And, yep, I can hear y’all groaning louder and louder, lol.

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

If you’ve grown weary of this post, you may want to explore “Grown Up vs Grown-Up vs Grownup“.

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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Groan Grown
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: groan and grown

18th century gentleman groaning at the mess made by dropping a drawer full of papers on the floor

“Image from page 218 of ‘Madame Bovary, v. 2’ (1897)” is courtesy of Internet Archive Book Images and has no known copyright restrictions, via Visualhunt

I’d groan too if I’d made such a mess.

A gorgeous red tomato

“My First Home-grown ‘Mater” by slopjop is under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license, via Visualhunt.com

Part of Grammar:
Noun; Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: groans
Past tense or past participle: groaned
Gerund or present participle: groaning

Past participle of grow

Verb, intransitive & transitive

Third person present verb: grows
Past tense: grew
Gerund or present participle: growing

A deep inarticulate sound made in pain, despair, derision, disapproval, desire, etc.

  • [Informal] A complaint or grumble

A low creaking or moaning sound made by an object or device under pressure

A loud harsh creaking sound, as of a tree bending in the wind

Verb, intransitive:
Make a deep inarticulate sound in response to pain or despair

  • [With direct speech] Say something in a despairing or miserable tone
  • Complain
  • Grumble
  • To make a sound like a groan

[Of a thing] Make a low creaking or moaning sound when pressure or weight is applied

  • [groan with or groan under] Be heavily loaded with
  • [groan under or groan beneath] Be oppressed by
    • To be weighed

Verb, transitive:
To utter or express with groans

Advanced in growth

Arrived at full growth or maturity

  • Adult

Verb, intransitive:
[Of a living thing] Undergo natural development by increasing in size and changing physically

  • Progress to maturity, to grow old
  • [Of a plant] Germinate and develop
  • [Of something abstract] Come into existence and develop

Become larger or greater over a period of time

  • Increase

[With complement] Become gradually or increasingly

  • [With infinitive; of a person] Come to feel or know something over time
  • Expand
  • Become greater or larger

To form and increase in size by a process of inorganic accretion, as by crystallization

To become gradually attached or united by or as if by growth

[Nautical] To lie or extend in a certain direction, as an anchor cable

Verb, transitive:
Produce by cultivation

Allow or cause a part of the body to grow or develop

Cause something, especially a business to expand or increase

All around us were the groans of dying soldiers.

The position will require you to listen with sincerity to everyone’s moans and groans.

We listened to the protesting groan of timbers, hoping the ship would hold together long enough for us to get to the lifeboats.

We heard the groan of the ropes as the crane lowered the heavy cargo into the ship’s hold.

Verb, intransitive:
Marty groaned and pulled the blanket over his head.

“Oh God!” I groaned.

The old oak groaned as the wind whipped through its branches.

James slumped back into his chair, making it groan and bulge.

Tables groaned with joints of venison.

Too many families were groaning under mortgage increases.

The steps of the old house groaned under my weight.

Verb, transitive:
They were moaning and groaning about management.

They all groaned at Larry’s puns.

Paul is a grown boy.

He’s a grown man, and grown men don’t cry.

Verb, intransitive:
The Vietnamese diaspora grew out of their national tragedy.

A growing number of people are coming to realize this.

Sharing our experiences, we grew braver.

She grew to like the friendly, quiet people at the farm.

Above 975 K, only one nucleus had grown within the simulation time.
Our friendship had grown from common interests.

His influence has grown.

The branches of the trees had grown together, forming a natural arch.

Without knowing it, we had grown old.

“Care must be taken in this operation that the second anchor is let go [if the riding cable has grown] right ahead” (Marine Biz).

Verb, transitive:
Melanie had certainly grown up!

They had grown more and more crops for export.

She had grown her hair long.

Adjective: groaning, ungroaning
Adverb: groaningly
Noun: groaner, undergroan
Adjective: grown-ass, grown-up, half-grown, ungrown
Noun: grown-up
Phrasal Verb
grown apart
grown into
grown on
grown out
grown out of
grown up
History of the Word:
Old English grānian is of Germanic origin and related to the German greinen meaning cry or whine; also to grinsen meaning grin and also probably to grin. Old English grōwan (originally referring chiefly to plants) is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch groeien, also to grass and green.

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:

Porter Carrying Clay Pots Strapped to A-frame on His Back is courtesy of Cornell University Library and has no known copyright restrictions, via Visual Hunt.