• 3-minute read
  • 25th December 2020

5 Festive Christmas Homophones

What can a proofreading blog add to your festive preparations? How about a list of five Christmas homophones? Make sure not to get these terms mixed up when wishing your friends and family well this festive season!

1. Angels vs. Angles

Hark! The herald “angles” sing… of being acute or obtuse? An “angle” is the space between two intersecting lines (e.g., the corners inside a square are 90° angles). If you are looking for someone who can sing “glory to the newborn king,” though, you’ll want an “angel” instead.

An angel and an angle.
An angel and an angle.

2. Mince vs. Mints

In the UK, a “mince pie” is a traditional Christmas treat containing “mincemeat.” And while this might sound like it means “ground beef,” it is actually a mixture of spices and finely chopped fruit. The name “mincemeat” comes from the fact that the same spices were once used to preserve meat.

It’s important not to mix up “mince” and “mints” in this context, though. Filling your Christmas pies with Tic Tacs is not recommended!

Mince pies.
Not “mints pies.”
(Photo: darianstibbe/Pixabay)

3. Presents vs. Presence

A haunting really isn't a great gift.
A haunting really isn’t a great gift.

Among other things, the noun “presence” can refer to a feeling that something is present when it is not. This is why people who believe in ghosts sometimes say they felt a “presence” in a haunted house.

However, unless you’re following in Scrooge’s footsteps, we suggest sticking to “presents” for Christmas. Most children expect gifts rather than an encounter with the undead on Christmas morning, after all.

4. Sleigh vs. Slay

Santa’s vehicle of choice is known as a “sleigh.” But this is pronounced the same as the verb “slay,” which means “kill” or “murder.” It is therefore very important to differentiate between:

Find this useful?

Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.

  1. “Sleigh bells” – A common festive sight and sound.
  2. “Slay bells!” – A command to kill bells.

And if you slay sleigh bells, you will probably ruin the Christmassy mood.

5. Yule vs. You’ll

Finally, we have “Yule” and “you’ll.” The first is a term for Christmas with roots in old pagan festivals. The second is a contraction that combines the words “you” and “will.” They are, therefore, very different.

Not a “you’ll” log.
(Photo: skeeze/Pixabay)

It should be easy to tell these homophones apart. However, we saved them for the end of this list so we could use them in a sentence together:

We hope you’ll have a great Yule this year!

Season’s greetings to all! We’ll catch you again after Christmas. But if you need anything proofreading in the meantime, we have editors ready to help.

Comments (0)

Got content that needs a quick turnaround?

Let us polish your work.

Explore our editorial business services.

More Writing Tips?
Trusted by thousands of leading
institutions and businesses

Make sure your writing is the best it can be with our expert English proofreading and editing.