ho, hoe, whoa

The words ho, hoe, whoa sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do ho, hoe, whoa sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: ho, hoe, whoa are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: interjection

    Used to express surprise or joy, to attract attention to something sighted, or to urge onward: Land ho! Westward ho!

  2. :: noun

    Slang A prostitute.

  1. :: noun

    A tool with a flat blade attached approximately at a right angle to a long handle, used for weeding, cultivating, and gardening.

  2. :: verb-transitive

    To weed, cultivate, or dig up with a hoe.

  3. :: verb-intransitive

    To work with a hoe.

  1. :: interjection

    Used as a command to stop, as to a horse.

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").