Eyelet - islet

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Do not confuse the homophones eyelet and islet. Both are pronounced as though the first syllable were 'eye' (IPA: /'aɪ lət/), and both use the diminutive suffix '-let'.

  • An eyelet is a small eye, in the sense of 'an opening', like the eye of a needle: the laces of shoes are threaded through eyelets, usually reinforced by metal rings. Eyelets exist in many nautical applications, as in sails, where they may be similarly reinforced by grommets, sewn, or of rope or of metal.
  • An islet is a small island.
Eyelet and islet form one of the sets of homophones listed by the then Poet Laureate Robert Bridges.
(For more, see Bridges homophones). AWE has a category listing our articles on each of these.