paeon, peon

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

The answer is simple: paeon, peon are homophones of the English language.

paeon
  1. :: noun

    In quantitative verse, a foot of one long syllable and three short syllables occurring in any order.

peon
  1. :: noun

    In India and other parts of South and Southeast Asia, a person of menial position, especially a messenger, servant, or foot soldier.

  2. :: noun

    A menial worker; a drudge.

  3. :: noun

    Such a worker bound in servitude to a landlord creditor.

  4. :: noun

    An unskilled laborer or farm worker of Latin America or the southwest United States.

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").