sleigh/slay -- Is there a term for such a pair?

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Tue Nov 26 16:30:12 UTC 2002


>   I received the query below. Can anyone help?  The answer is not
>"homonym," for which both spelling and pronunciation must be
>identical, e.g. "quail" nn. and "quail" verb).
>Gerald Cohen
>>What is the proper term for two words that sound the same yet are spelled
>>differently and have different meaning. Or, is there a term? If so, I can't
>>recall. If there isn't, there should be. It seems like I recall meeting such
>>a term in my recent past!
>>Example:   sleigh     slay        meet     meat      and so on.
>>Help me out!

Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic,
      Asian & African Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027
e-mail: preston at
phone: (517) 353-9290

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