Easily Confused Words: Bore vs. Boar

Bore and boar are easily confused words. They are also homophones, meaning they sound the same, but they are spelled differently and have different meanings.

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.

Bore (pronounced “boh-rr”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a verb, it can mean to drill a hole into a piece of wood or other solid surface.
  • As a verb, it can mean to create a tunnel in the earth.
  • As a verb, it can mean to make someone sleepy or distracted due to being dull, monotonous.
  • As an adjective, it describes someone who or something that is dull, uninteresting, or uncaptivating.

Boar (pronounced “boh-rr”) is a noun. Most of the time, it means a wild pig, known for its long lower jaw teeth and long body hair. However, it also means the male among domestic pigs.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Boris meant well. When he asked Ballari out on a date, he hadn’t realized she would find talking about the history of boars in North America a bore after awhile (awhile equated to over 45 minutes.)

She wanted to discuss current affairs, like the economy and politics. Finding a transitional moment, though, was proving difficult. There probably wasn’t going to be a second date.

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