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Brooch vs. Broach

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When two words that sound alike mean different things, they are called homophones. English is full of homophones, and some of them can be quite confusing.

Brooch and broach sound the same, but they are completely different words. They are not even the same part of speech. Luckily, there is an easy way to tell them apart. Continue reading to find out how.

In this article, I will compare broach vs. brooch. I will use each in an example sentence to demonstrate its proper use and context. Plus, I will give you a useful memory tool so you can be sure that you pick the correct word when choosing between broach or brooch in your own writing.

Origin:

Brooch originated from Middle English: variant of broach, a noun originally meaning ‘skewer, bodkin’, from Old French broche ‘spit for roasting’, based on Latin brocchus, broccus ‘projecting’. Broach originated from Middle English: from Old French brochier, based on Latin brocchus, broccus ‘projecting’. The earliest recorded sense was ‘prick with spurs’, generally ‘pierce’, which gave rise (late Middle English) to sense 2. Sense 1, a figurative use of this, dates from the late 16th century.

Broach as noun:

Brooch is used as a noun which means an ornament fastened to clothing with a hinged pin and catch.

I bought an emerald and diamond brooch.

Broach as verb:

Broach is used as a verb in English language where it means to raise (a difficult subject) for discussion.

He broached the subject he had been avoiding all evening.

To pierce (a cask) to draw out liquid is also called broach.

He watched a pot boy broach a new cask.

Examples:

She wanted to reach out to friends, but it never felt like the right time to broach the subject. [Washington Post]

For fall, the standout was a little piece of Surrealism for your lapel: a “painted eye” brooch. [Los Angeles Times]

Many companies are reluctant to alarm employees – or broach the sensitive issue of only recalling expats. [Financial Times]

My reward was a small enamel brooch of the Disney figure: purple floppy hat, green coat and droopy trousers that pooled around his feet. [The Australian]

The couturier seized upon a leaf brooch by Verdura at an auction preview, bypassing some of the more extravagant marvels on display for the graphic piece. –The New York Times

Son wasn’t planning to broach a future T-Mobile deal with Mr. Trump, Mr. Son’s advisers said. Details of what the two men ended up discussing at the meeting couldn’t be learned. –The Wall Street Journal

Brooch or broach:

Broach and brooch are homophones. Brooch is a noun, and it refers to a decorative pin worn with fashionable clothing. Broach is a verb, and it means to introduce a topic into conversation. Since the two words are different parts of speech, they do not share any usage cases. You should choose brooch if you are using the word as a noun. Conversely, if the word in question is a verb, broach is the better choice. If you examine the spelling of the word broach, you will find a helpful clue that you can use to remember that it is a verb. Broach is spelled with the letter A, like the word action. Since broach is a verb, and verbs are action words, the letter A serves as a helpful link between these concepts.

 

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"Brooch vs. Broach." Grammar.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 17 Nov. 2017. <http://www.grammar.com/brooch_vs._broach>.

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