succor, sucker

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

The answer is simple: succor, sucker are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: noun

    Assistance in time of distress; relief.

  2. :: noun

    One that affords assistance or relief.

  3. :: verb-transitive

    To give assistance to in time of want, difficulty, or distress. See Synonyms at help.

  1. :: noun

    One that sucks, especially an unweaned domestic animal.

  2. :: noun

    Informal One who is easily deceived; a dupe.

  3. :: noun

    Informal One that is indiscriminately attracted to something specified: "The nation's capital is a sucker for a symbolic gesture” ( Jonathan Alter).

  4. :: noun

    Slang An unspecified thing. Used as a generalized term of reference, often as an intensive: "our goal of getting that sucker on the air before old age took the both of us” ( Linda Ellerbee).

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").