Bolder - boulder

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The two homophones bolder and boulder are unlikely to be confused, except as lapses in concentration, typing mistakes, or by spellcheckers.

  • Bolder is the comparative form of the adjective bold, meaning 'daring', 'fearless', or in a more pejorative sense 'shameless' or 'audacious'. Because these primary senses include the idea of 'drawing attention to oneself', 'bold' also means 'clearly visible', 'standing out' or 'contrasted'. Hence in printing, bold type (like this) is that which draws attention to itself by contrasting with ordinary type, 'heavy or blacker'. Bolder thus means 'more bold': 'more daring' or 'more shameless', in modern slang 'fresher'.
  • A boulder (with a '-u-') is a large rock, usually weather worn, or in some way showing its continuing existence on the surface of the earth. Geologists usually use it to mean 'an erratic', that is a [large] mass of rock that has been detached from its own bed and carried some way away by natural forces, for example glaciers.