Udder and utter are homophones and easily confused words.
Spell-check in word processing programs doesn’t check homophone errors. What spell-check does is look for the words that aren’t in its internal dictionary, and words that aren’t spelled like those in its internal dictionary. If you used a word that exists and that word is spelled correctly, spell-check continues scanning. Spell-check doesn’t ask about context. Autocorrect on phones is also clumsy in its attempts to guess what you want to say next.
Udder is a noun. It is the term for the teats (that contain mammary glands) of domesticated cows and goats. Udders are located near the hind legs of female animals.
Utter has multiple forms.
- As an adjective, it’s more of a qualifier than a descriptor, like “very.” For example, utter catastrophe, utter happiness, utter disappointment, utter joy.
- As a verb, to utter means to say something in a low, soft spoken, barely audible voice.
The following sentence uses both words correctly:
Morton knew if there was no grass, there would be no milk from the udder, so attempting to milk every morning would be an utter failure.