hae, hay, hey

The words hae, hay, hey sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do hae, hay, hey sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: hae, hay, hey are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: verb-transitive

    Scots To have.

  1. :: noun

    Grass or other plants, such as clover or alfalfa, cut and dried for fodder.

  2. :: noun

    Slang A trifling amount of money: gets $100 an hour, which isn't hay.

  3. :: verb-intransitive

    To mow and cure grass and herbage for hay.

  4. :: verb-transitive

    To make (grass) into hay.

  1. :: interjection

    Used to attract attention or to express surprise, appreciation, wonder, or pleasure.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition and Wordnik.

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About Homophones

Homophones (literally "same sound") are usually defined as words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of how they are spelled.

If they are spelled the same then they are also homographs (and homonyms); if they are spelled differently then they are also heterographs (literally "different writing").