Medal vs. Meddle vs. Metal vs. Mettle

Lexical Vexations

medal n. an award, especially one composed of a stamped, coin-like piece of metal.

meddle v. to interfere in others’ plans.

metal n. an opaque and often shiny material that is composed of one or more of the metallic elements in the periodic table of elements.

mettle n. the quality of strength or stamina in a person or thing.

Words in the Wild: After reading an impressive stack of Superman comics, young Hans decided that he should test his mettle by bending metal with his bare hands. He waited until his meddlesome sister left the room before trying to bend the medal he’d won in last summer’s badminton tournament, but it was to no avail. Dejected, he decided to see if he could jump over a dog house in a single bound.

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

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