SMUG Monday: Confusing word pairs (baited vs. bated)

These words don’t often come up unless you’re talking about fishing, hunting or master…nevermind.

BUT it is very important that you use them correctly.

BAITED: adjective or past tense verb (to bait)

  • Example: With the trap baited with bloody meat, I sat back and waited to catch my werewolf.
  • Example: I baited the hook and waited for Nessie to bite.

As a noun, BAIT is used thus:

  • Example: She is jailbait. (not jailBATE)

Bated is commonly used in one phrase: with bated breath. This is equivalent to describing someone who is holding their breath, either from fear or nerves or anticipation, and waiting for something to happen.

  • Example: When the sub misbehaved, she waited with baited breath for her Dom’s punishment.

As such, please do not write “with baited breath” or your reader might think she’s got worms on her tongue, trying to lure something in.

Finally….Fishermen are Master Baiters. Horny men and women are Master Baters (er…masturbators).

2 responses to “SMUG Monday: Confusing word pairs (baited vs. bated)

  1. Forgive me – but did you just repeat the error?

    Example: She is jailbate. (not jailBATE)

    Shouldn’t she be “jailbait”? If so, just delete this comment after you fix. 🙂

  2. Great site – yet another one to add to the blogs I follow!