Curd - Kurd

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Do not confuse the homophones curd and Kurd.

  • Curd is any solid that coagulates out of a liquid, usually by the action of an acid. The original curd was the solid formed in milk, randomly as part of souring, or deliberately (as in cheese-making) by the addition of rennet, lemon juice, or some similar acidic substance. When the natural product of milk is eaten - or made into cheese - it is usually broken up into small flakes, and is normally known as curds in the plural. The milk can be said to have curdled, as other substances can: mixtures for baking cakes can cease to be smooth and consistent thick liquids, and break down into lumps, which is also called curdling.
The liquid that remains after the curd has formed is called whey. 'Curds and whey' was a traditional nursery food for children, and is mentioned in the nursery rhyme 'Little Miss Muffet':
"Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey."
  • A Kurd (proper noun, with upper case initial letter) is a member of an ethnic group whose native territory covers the area shared between the bordering regions of the current (2012) states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. (There is also an adjective Kurdish.) This is sometimes known as Kurdistan, but - although many Kurds wish that it was - there is no state of that name. The term is a valid one in human, not political, geography
Do not allow the spell-checker to let you get away with using the informal word crud, which you are advised not to use in academic writing, as a typographical error for curd (or indeed Kurd). (Crud is mostly used for " An undesirable impurity, foreign matter, etc." (OED). To nuclear engineers, it may mean particles from corrosion inside a reactor which begin to clog the water supply; to writers of fiction, it may refer to the organic deposits to be found between imperfectly washed toes; to housekeepers, it may mean the residues of frying on top of a cooker.)