Easily Confused Words: Bight vs. Bite

Bight and bite are homophones and easily confused words. Many people expect their software or an app to catch all spelling and grammar mistakes for them, but neither is a perfect system. Spell-check wouldn’t necessarily catch a slip-up of bight and bite, for example, because they are both words and they are spelled correctly. Spell-check really doesn’t consider context. Auto-correct suffers from a similar problem.

Bight is a noun. It’s a geography term for a bend or curve of land on a coastline, a body of water within a bend of land that’s shallower than a sound or a harbor.

Bight is also the curvature of string or rope, as opposed to its frayed ends.

Bite is a noun, meaning a portion of food a person can remove from their fork or a chunk of food using their mouth.

Bite can also be a verb, meaning to remove a portion of a chunk of food (i.e., cake, cookie, pizza slice), It can also mean to injure a creature or an object with one’s teeth.

The following story uses both words correctly:

When Bridge was small, he loved to look at maps and the shapes of land masses. He admired how some coastline bights looked like a hungry giant had come along and taken a bite out of them.