Confusing Words Clarified: Group Y; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc. +

(lists of "Y" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)

If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.

y'all, you-all, yaw, yaw, yawl
y'all (YAWL) (pronoun)
Used as a contraction of you all: "The waiter came back to where Lynn and Lloyd were sitting and said, Are y'all ready to order?"

"Later, he said, Did y'all have enough to eat?"

"The term, y'all is used primarily in speech in the Southern states of the U.S. to address two or more people."

you-all (YOO AWL, YAWL) (pronoun)
A term often used in the Southern parts of the U.S.: "When Jorge and Heidi went to a restaurant in New Orleans, the waitress greeted them with How are you-all doing?"

"Actually, she might have said, How are y'all doing? which is really the same thing."

yaw (YAW) (noun)
The movement of an airplane, ship, etc., to the left or to the right; especially, an unwanted left or right movement: "Sensors are used to measure the pitch and yaw of the air craft."

"The ship's rudder is used to control yaw."

yaw (YAW) (verb)
To swerve off course momentarily or temporarily: "The passengers noticed that the ship seemed to yaw as the heavy wave struck its side."
yawl (YAWL) (noun)
A sailing boat with two masts and a third mast to the aft [rear] of the two main masts."

The captain of the ship warned his passengers that there could be a strong yaw when the big waves hit the side of the passenger vessel.

In fact, since Jeb was from Mississippi, he said, "Y'all had better be ready for the big yaw that is about to happen to you-all."

Right after the warning, the ship yawed to the right knocking a lot of people on to the floor just as the sailors hoisted the sail on their yawl.

yak, yak
yak (YAK) (noun)
A large wild or domesticated animal that has long hair and curved horns and which lives in central Asia: "Very few words have come into English from the Tibetan language, but yak (Tibetan name for the bovine Bos grunniens) is one of them and while the word in Tibetan, gyag, applies only to the male, the English version of yak refers to the male and/or the female."
yak (YAK) (verb)
To talk in a loud way often for a long time: "Sometimes when people get together for cake and coffee in the afternoon they just love to yak."

"We noticed that many of the people on the subway train would yak and yammer away on their cell phones for a long time."

Derrick and his family stood on the hillside to yak while they watched a herd of yak cross the plains below where they were standing.

yank, yank; Yank
yank (YANGK) (verb)
1. To suddenly pull something in a quick, forceful way: "Emma's child tried to yank the door shut."
2. To quickly or to suddenly remove something or someone: "The TV station decided to yank the program from tonight's schedule."
yank (YANGK) (verb)
A quick firm jerk or pull on something: "Gordon will yank on the string and undo the knot."
Yank (YANGK) (noun)
A short version of, or informal term for, Yankee: "Lynn chose Mark Twain as her favorite Yank because she loved his stories."

"Even though Donald was a Yank from the North and Emma was from the South, she loved him very much."

Jerome, the Yank, stood on the deck of the ship and with one fast yank, he was able to yank the flag up the pole so everyone was able to see it.

yard, yard
yard (YAHRD) (noun)
An outdoor area that is next to a house and is usually covered by grass: "As a kid, Troy just loved playing games in Shannon's yard."
yard (YAHRD) (noun)
A unit of measurement equal to three feet (0.9144 meters) or 36 inches: "Stacy, please don't forget to get at least one yard of fabric at the department store when you go there today."

If Leo measures his back yard by the yard, he will discover that his yard is very small; that is, just three yard(s) by six yard(s).

yarn, yarn, yearn
yarn (YAHRN) (noun)
A long, thin piece of cotton, wool, etc., that is thicker than thread and which is used for knitting and weaving: "Joann, you need a few more skeins of yarn to knit that sweater you want."
yarn (YAHRN) (noun)
An exciting or interesting story; especially, a story that is so surprising or unusual that it is difficult to believe: "Sailors love to spin one yarn after the other when they are on their voyages to the sea."
yearn (YURN) (verb)
To feel a strong desire or wish for something or to do something: "Calvin is sure that he will just yearn more than ever for Grandma's apple pie after he spends a year abroad."

I yearn to tell you the yarn about the truck driver who was knitting a sweater using multi-colored yarn while he was driving.

Here's the story: To pass the time while he was driving, a long distance truck driver was speeding along the highway knitting a sweater. He apparently was controlling the steering wheel with his knees and not really paying attention to his driving.

A police officer who observed such driving behavior, drove along the side shouting on his speaker, "Pull over! Pull over!"

The truck driver leaned out the window and yelled, "No officer, it's not a pull over, it's a cardigan."

yawning, awning
yawning (YAW ning) (adjective)
Opening the mouth wide while taking in breath; usually because a person is tired or bored: "The teacher noticed some yawning students during the film presentation."
awning (AW ning) (noun)
A piece of cloth on a frame that sticks out over a door or window and provides shelter from the sun, rain, snow, etc.: "Gordon told Alicia that it's a good thing that we had the awning to block out some of the sun on this hot day."

While Bill's mother was sitting under the awning, she found herself in a yawning condition because the chair was so comfortable and the day was pleasantly warm.

yellow, yellow
yellow (YEL oh) (adjective)
Having the color of the sun or of ripe lemons: "Clara had a bright yellow hat to go with her yellow raincoat."
yellow (YEL oh) (adjective)
1. Afraid in a way that makes a person unable to do what is right or expected; cowardly: "Pedro was just too yellow to stand up and protect his rights."
2. Containing news that is meant to shock people and which is not true or is only partly true: "Everyone should beware of yellow journalism."

The bright yellow banner on the front page of the newspaper was distinctive, letting the buyer know that it was full of yellow journalism; however, Greg, you shouldn't be yellow, go ahead and buy a copy anyway.

yelp, yelp
yelp (YELP) (verb)
To utter a quick, short, sharp bark, or high cry: "Dolores could hear her daughter, Jill, yelp in shock when her father sprayed her with cold water from the hose as they were playing around in the back yard."
yelp (YELP) (noun)
A short, sharp cry, or bark: "The dog let out a yelp of pain when Alicia accidentally stepped on its foot."

Audrey could hear the yelp of the puppy that would often yelp when it was excited.

yen, yen, yen
yen (YEN) (noun)
The basic unit of money of Japan: "Marc, did you have difficulty adapting to using the yen while you were in Japan?"
yen (YEN) (noun)
A strong desire for something: "Audrey had a real yen for ice-cream after not eating it for six months."
yen (YEN) (verb)
Longing intensely to do something or to be somewhere: "While on the business trip, the father couldn't help but yen to be home with his children and wife as soon as possible."

When the teacher lived in Japan, every time she had enough yen in her purse, she would suddenly develop a yen for a special soup that was available at the local restaurant; after which, she would yen to go back to her hotel and get ready for bed.

yoke, yolk, joke, joke
yoke (YOHK) (noun)
1. Double harness, coupler, collar, bond, clasp: "The two oxen were put into the yoke."

"A rubber yoke held the two wires together."

2. Pair, team, brace, couple: "It takes a yoke of oxen to pull that wagon."
3. Bondage, slavery, enslavement, servitude; serfdom, vassalage: "Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves from their yoke of bondage."
yolk (YOHK) (noun)
The yellow, or orange, part in the center of an egg containing fat and protein: "Susan, please separate the yolk from the white of the egg before you make the final mixture for the cake."
joke (JOHK) (noun)
1. Jest, diversion, playful or mischievous trick or remark, facetiousness, frolic; gag, prank, frolic, witticism, farce: "Wearing his clothes inside out was Gordon's idea of a joke."
2. Object of ridicule, a laughing-stock; fool, buffoon, clown, village idiot, bumpkin: "Melvin was the joke of the town because of his silly hair style."
joke (JOHK) (verb)
Poke fun at, mock, ridicule, laugh at, snicker, jeer at: "They joke about Lee's ineptitude, or lack of training, as a computer technician."

Bertha, use caution with yoke and yolk or the joke will be on you!

"A travel writer once wrote about being in Mexico, where 'we saw people carrying baskets on yolks across their shoulders.' The writer 'took pictures of the yolked and harnessed figures.' "

"Another writer told of a gentleman who knows when his body needs fuel: He eats 'potatoes, pasta, salad, eggs (without the yokes) and pancakes.' "

"Well, folks, oxen have yokes and eggs have yolks, and anyone who carries baskets on yolks is going to have a messy shirt" . . . and that's no joke!

—"Careful, or the yoke may be on you" by James Kilpatrick.

It is not a joke; the yolk of an egg is a very good medium for mixing colors for painting. His friend, who was a painter, used this medium to paint a mural depicting the yoke of bondage of miners who lived in an impoverished country.

you'll, yule
you'll (YOOL) (pronoun, verb)
Used as a contraction of you will: "Tamara hopes you'll come to her party on Saturday."
Yule (YOOL) (noun)
An older term for the festival of Christmas: "Marcia's mother just loved everything about the season of Yule; including, the smell of turkey, family home from afar, and the Christmas tree."

You'll certainly want to haul in a Yule log to burn over the Christmas holidays.

you, ewe, yew
you (YOO) (pronoun)
Used to refer to the person or group of people that is being addressed as the subject of a verb or as the object of a verb or preposition: "O.K., kids, are you ready to get into the car for the trip?"
ewe (YOO) (noun)
A female sheep: "Colleen saw a ewe, a lamb, and only one ram in the field."
yew (YOO) (noun)
An evergreen tree or bush with stiff needles and small red berries, the wood of which may be used for carpentry and for making archery bows: "Tonya was using the bow made of yew for her class in archery."

Quick, you must come and see this: a ewe is standing over there under yew tree.

you’re, your, yore
you're (YOOR, YOR, YUHR) (pronoun, verb)
Used as a contraction of you are: "She thinks you're a very nice person."
your (YOOR, YOR, YUHR) (pronoun)
Relating to you or belonging to you: "Is this your purse or mine?"."
yore (YOR, YOHR) (noun)
Of the past: "In the days of yore the kings and queens had knights who protected them from their enemies."

The message said, "You're invited to the local pageant which tells the tales of yore in a dramatic fashion. So, be sure to bring your friend."

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