Commonly Confused Words Fir and Fur

Commonly confused words

Close-up of fir tree
Madeline Dudley-Yates/EyeEm/Getty Images

The words fir and fur are homophones: they sound alike but have different meanings.

The noun fir refers to an evergreen tree with needle-shaped leaves.

The noun fur refers to the soft, hairy coat of an animal or to a garment made of fur.

Examples

  • "In an area where spruce and fir mingle with quaking aspen, in a cool shady well-watered place, I discover a blue columbine, rarest and loveliest of mountain flowers." (Edward Abbey)
  • "The longing for the silences of the Cascades, the smell of fir boughs at night, the touch of the chinook as it blew over the ridges — these longings were almost irresistible in the oppressiveness of my New York City rooming house." (William O. Douglas)
  • "The main target of the fur trade initially was the beaver, whose soft fur was hammered and compressed to make felt hats for the European gentry." (Miron Heinselman)
  • "In winter, to keep out the pervasive Low Countries chill, men and women alike donned elegant fur-lined dressing gowns that were worn over all the other clothing at home and at the place of work." (Mike Dash)

Practice Exercise

(a) A cool evening breeze brought with it the smell of _____ trees and wild honeysuckle.
(b) Beavers need a thick _____ coat to maintain an adequate body temperature in winter.

Answers to Practice Exercise

(a) A cool evening breeze brought with it the smell of fir trees and wild honeysuckle.

(b) Beavers need a thick fur coat to maintain an adequate body temperature in winter.

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Your Citation
Nordquist, Richard. "Commonly Confused Words Fir and Fur." ThoughtCo, Sep. 27, 2021, thoughtco.com/fir-and-fur-1689388. Nordquist, Richard. (2021, September 27). Commonly Confused Words Fir and Fur. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/fir-and-fur-1689388 Nordquist, Richard. "Commonly Confused Words Fir and Fur." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/fir-and-fur-1689388 (accessed October 28, 2021).