705 words which have alternative meanings if pronounced a different way—they are also known as Heteronyms, though the latter are subtly different).

I built up this list one at a time over a period of 8 years, for fun. It's probably not accurate. It's probably the longest list of homographs in the world, ever, ever. I've got lots more to add, one day ...

  • "I protest at the protest; the car-tower will tower above my son; through the entrance and turn left, she will entrance you".
  • "Let's go putting, after putting our bows and arrows in the ship’s bows”.
  • "My arm felt number yesterday, and my leg was pussy", he moped and rode off on his moped.
  • "Would you object to rose, graves, sake or pate?", she proceeds.


The list includes:
  • Noun / verb differences (ENTRANCE / ENTRANCE).
  • Common alternative pronunciations (CONtribute / conTRIBute).
  • Past tense and plural (BOW / BOWED / BOWS).
  • BOWER is also in the list - it has 2 more meanings (lady in bower / person who uses an archery bow).
  • Abbreviations with a missing apostrophe (SHELL / SHE'LL).
  • Hyphens ignored (COOP / CO-OP).
  • Accents ignored (PATE / PATÉ).
  • Context-dependent words (A can be pronounced “eh?” or “uh”, THE can be pronounced “thee” or “thuh”).
Toby Churchill,
3 Jan 2009, 15:22