Thursday March 30, 2006

Pop Quiz, Hotshot!

Name two English verbs that are spelled differently, pronounced the same, both of which have a meaning related to the removal of liquid from the interior of something.  Answer after the jump.

The verbs are leech and leach.  I would have guessed that these came from the same source, with a variation in spelling associated with one narrow sense of the word (like metal and mettle), but apparently not.  Bonus word: leech, a nautical term, not etymologically related to the other two.

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Doesn't leach technically mean to remove a solid from something by application of a liquid? I.e., if you let the rice soak too long in the water, all of the starch will leach out?

Posted by: Andrew at Apr 1, 2006 1:27:06 PM

Yeah, leaching involves passing a liquid through something to remove a soluble substance. That's why I wrote "related to the removal of liquid"—leaching is really the removal of something solid, but it's accomplished by the removal of the liquid it's dissoved in.

Posted by: The Tensor at Apr 1, 2006 2:12:05 PM