Yoke and Yolk

Commonly Confused Words

egg yolk
The yolk of an egg cooks more slowly than the white. (Andrew Unangst/Getty Images)

The words yoke and yolk are homophones (or near-homophones): words that sound alike but have different meanings.

Definitions

The noun yoke refers to bondage, servitude, or something that binds or connects (people, animals, ideas, or things). As a verb, yoke means to join together.

The noun yolk refers to the yellow part of an egg.

Examples

  • During the 1960s, many territories in Africa and Asia emerged as new nations, freed from the yoke of colonialism.
  • Priam told his sons to yoke the mules to the wagon, while he went to the chamber paneled with fragrant cedar-wood.
  • "Joseph watched as bright yellow yolk dripped off the vibrant-pink processed meat product onto Wilson's T-shirt."

    (Mark Haskell Smith, Delicious. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2005)

  • "From the two gritty windows a listless whitish light fell upon the stained green wallpaper with its yolk-colored floral design."

    (Fred Chappell, Moments of Light. Boson, 1996)

Practice

(a) "[T]he lead boys ran to _____ the oxen in pairs and bring them in from the veld where they had been grazing."

(Wilbur Smith, Blue Horizon. St. Martin's Press, 2003)

(b) The _____ contains most of the known vitamins, with the exception of vitamin C.

(c) Dame Gillian Beer urged women writers to free themselves from the _____ of romantic obsession.

Answers to Practice Questions

(a) "[T]he  lead boys ran to yoke the oxen in pairs and bring them in from the veld where they had been grazing."

(Wilbur Smith, Blue Horizon. St. Martin's Press, 2003)

(b) The yolk contains most of the known vitamins, with the exception of vitamin C.

(c) Dame Gillian Beer urged women writers to free themselves from the yoke of romantic obsession.

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Your Citation
Nordquist, Richard. "Yoke and Yolk." ThoughtCo, Apr. 27, 2017, thoughtco.com/yoke-and-yolk-1689534. Nordquist, Richard. (2017, April 27). Yoke and Yolk. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/yoke-and-yolk-1689534 Nordquist, Richard. "Yoke and Yolk." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/yoke-and-yolk-1689534 (accessed January 19, 2018).