pokey, poky

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

The answer is simple: pokey, poky are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Slang A jail or prison.

  2. :: adjective

    Informal Variant of poky1.

  1. :: adjective

    Informal Dawdling; slow: waited for the poky sales clerk to ring up the sale.

  2. :: adjective

    Informal Frumpish; shabby: found poky old clothes at the thrift store.

  3. :: adjective

    Informal Small and cramped: a poky but inexpensive apartment.

  4. :: noun

    Slang Variant of pokey1.

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").