Easily Confused Words: Lodge vs. Large

Lodge and large are easily confused words. They both start with L and have five letters. But more importantly, if you live in or visit the US, there are regional dialects can make these words sound exactly the same.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway.

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Lodge (pronounced “l-ah-dj”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a verb, it means sleeping in a specific place with traveling. For example, vacationers lodge at hotels, motels, inns, airBnBs, etc.
  • As a verb, it can also mean to get stuck in a tight space. When a person is choking, food “lodges” itself in his/her throat near the windpipe.
  • As a noun, it means a place to sleep, or a place where someone briefly resides. Hotels, motels, inn, and lodges can also be collectively called Lodgings.

Large (pronounced “Lah-ARR-j”, but around coastal Massachusetts and parts of New England, “l-AHH-j”) has multiple meanings.

  • As an adjective. It describes something big or great in size, especially relative to other objects. For example, large is used to describe tall people, and tall and thickly built people. Professional basketball and football players are typically large people.
  • As a noun, it means the biggest size offered, or a size that’s big, or great in volume. For example, in fountain sodas, Regulars are 12-16 ounces (354-473 ml) , but the “Large” is closer to 24-32 ounces (709-946 ml).

The following story uses both words correctly:

 Lottie was driving on Route 66 in a vintage Chrysler Imperial. She was also making a point to stay in historic lodges and inns from the 1930s.

Unfortunately traveling without a GPS was proving challenging. She was having trouble locating the Meadowlark Inn of Tucumcari, NM. She was afraid she’d missed it, so she called the innkeeper.

“Can you describe the building?” she asked, “Is it large or small?What color is it?” 

“Just look for the neon light bird, ma’am, you can’t miss it, ” he told her, and hung up the phone. And suddenly, there it was. He wasn’t kidding.

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