handmade, handmaid

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

The answer is simple: handmade, handmaid are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: adjective

    Made or prepared by hand rather than by machine.

  1. :: noun

    A woman attendant or servant.

  2. :: noun

    Something that accompanies or is attendant on another: "the traditional notion that government was the handmaiden of business” ( Doris Kearns Goodwin).

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").