Mantel vs. Mantle

by Heather

Lexical Vexations

mantel n. the shelf above a fireplace.

mantle n. a cloak.

Words in the Wild: Wilhelmina was so chilled on that November evening that she gathered her ermine mantle around her shoulders and spent the whole of the night in conversation near the mantel.

I most often see these two words mixed up when I’m reading historical fiction. So if you’ve noticed that your writing has a lot of earls and corsets and hansom cabs in it, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for this tricky pair.

The contributor of the photo of the mantelpiece is Melissa. The photograph is copyrighted but also licenced for further reuse.

Still vexed? You can find a complete list of the Word Blog’s lexical vexations here.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kevin Dickinson November 10, 2009 at 12:43 am

Mantle is such a wonderful word, especially when used figuratively. I’m glad you’re spreading awareness.

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