sonny, sunny

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

The answer is simple: sonny, sunny are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Used as a familiar form of address for a boy or young man.

  1. :: adjective

    Exposed to or abounding in sunshine: a sunny room.

  2. :: adjective

    Cheerful; genial: a sunny smile.

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").