Easily Confused Words: Bode vs. Body

Bode and body are easily confused words.

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.

Bode (pronounced “bohwd”) is a verb. It means to predict to happen, to be an omen, to predict or hint at future events. For example, low attendance on the premiere weekend doesn’t bode well for a movie’s debut.

Body (pronounced “bawdy”) is a noun.

  • It can mean a person’s flesh and bones that they use to physically be, and interact in, the world.
  • It can also mean the members of a church, or a branch of government.
  • It can mean fullness and movement in a long hairstyle.

The following story uses both words correctly:

With an achy body, a high temperature, and feelings of nausea, Bo didn’t feel like getting up this morning. These symptoms did not bode well for starting his new workout regimen today.

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