chantey, chanty, shanty

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

The answer is simple: chantey, chanty, shanty are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    A song sung by sailors to the rhythm of their movements while working.

  1. :: noun

    Variant of chantey.

  1. :: noun

    A roughly built, often ramshackle cabin; a shack.

  2. :: noun

    Variant of chantey.

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").