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Yoke vs. Yolk

This article is about Yoke vs. Yolk — enjoy your reading!

  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips

English contains many words that sound the same but have different meanings. These words are called homophones. While yoke and yolk are not exact homophones, they may sound similar enough in casual speech to confuse language learners or even experienced writers.

In this article, we will compare yoke and yolk and will use each word in various example sentences to illustrate its use. Plus, we will also show you a useful trick for deciding whether to use yoke or yolk in your writing.


Yolk originated from Old English geol(o)ca, from geolu ‘yellow’. Yoke originated from Old English geoc (noun), geocian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch juk, German Joch, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin jugum and Greek zugon, also by Latin jungere ‘to join’.

Yolk as noun:

Yolk is a noun in English language and it represents the yellow internal part of a bird's egg, which is surrounded by the white, is rich in protein and fat, and nourishes the developing embryo.

This recipe calls for two egg yolks.

In zoology, the part corresponding to the yolk in the ovum or larva of all egg-laying vertebrates and many invertebrates is also called a yolk.

Yoke as noun:

Yoke is used as a noun in English where it means a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plough or cart that they are to pull.

The horses were loosened from the yoke.

Yolk is also used to refer to something regarded as oppressive or restrictive.

The yoke of imperialism is growing day by day.

Yolk also refers to a part of a garment that fits over the shoulders and to which the main part of the garment is attached.

The pinafore fell amply from a short yoke.

Yoke as verb:

Yoke is also used as a verb in English language where it means to put a yoke on (a pair of animals); couple or attach with or to a yoke.

A plough drawn by a camel and donkey yoked together

When something cause (two people or things) to be joined in a close relationship, it is referred to as yolk.

Hong Kong's dollar has been yoked to America's.


Eager to throw off the yoke of government ownership, the U.K.’s two partially state-owned banks have been quietly moving to stir investor interest in U.K government holdings of their stocks. [Wall Street Journal]

In another large bowl, combine the egg yolks and salt. [AP]

It sits on the plate, looking like a perfectly cooked, sunny side-up egg — except the yolk tastes like spiced carrots and the white is made from coconut milk. [San Jose Mercury News]

Others pointed to the importance of upholding press freedom in a country that has been under the yoke of Soviet rule for decades. [The Independent]

Yolk or yoke:

Yoke and yolk are not quite homophones, but many people pronounce them similarly. Nonetheless, they have separate meanings and their usage cases never overlap. Yoke deals with the joining together of two things. Yolk is the center of an egg. If the word in your sentence is a verb, it must be yoke. Yolk is never a verb. If the word is a noun, then you should consider your context. If you’re talking about the yellow center of an egg, you mean yolk. Remember that this part of the egg contains a high amount of cholesterol. Cholesterol and yolk both contain the letter L.


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