Apr 12, 2011

Misused Words: Jam and Jamb

I found myself in a jam this morning when trying to think of a topic for this blog for J-day in the A-Z challenge, so there was my answer - jam and its homophone, jamb.

Since they're pronounced alike, jam and jamb might be misused when writing, but they have very different definitions.  Jam is the more common of the two and has several meanings, and is a noun as well as a verb.

Photo by LazySunday

If you're in a tight spot, you're in a jam.
You can jam something into a small space.
Grandma's homemade jam is great on toast.
Grab your guitar for a jam session with the guys.
A traffic jam is a commuter's nightmare.
Photo by clshearin

A jamb is the vertical part of a door frame, a noun probably more familiar to those who write home improvement articles.

You might bust your knuckles on a door jamb will moving furniture.

Thanks to jam and jamb for getting me out of a jam today.


  1. I love homophones! When they're misused it can be giggle worthy for sure. Most of the time it just makes me cringe.

  2. It's surprising how many people can't spell these days.

  3. Ugh. I wish people would learn the difference between moot and mute -- and not use them interchangeably.

    Great topic.

  4. Love it. So many people get these mixed up. Great post.

  5. Another great one! Incorrectly used words make me crazy. ;-)

    Surprisingly, the one I keep seeing lately is "wandering" instead of "wondering." How does that happen?

  6. Great post. I agree with Karen, giggles can abound! :)

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  8. I have to mirror what so many others have said. It is both funny and irritating to see words misused. Another bone of contention for me are the intentional misspellings in advertising. Is it really necessary? I think not.

    As a side note...I had to delete my original comment and rewrite it because I messed up on punctuation. Thought you might get a kick out of that! I know I do.

  9. Don't forget "their, they're and there", "two, too, and to" and "it's and its". But, as I said on FB, I really don't think door jam is very tasty.

  10. Great idea! J was hard I agree! :)

  11. Cute post, jam and jamb did get you out of a jam today. Love it.

    I’m A-Z Blogging on Langley Writes about Writing and Langley’s Rich and Random Life

  12. Be interesting to know the origin of the phrase "out of a jam". You assume that it's not "out of a jamb", but how do you know? Perhaps whomever originated this did in fact mean "out of a jamb". I can think of situations where this would be appropriate.