Palate, Pallet, Palette — The English Language Makes No Damn Sense.

Allow me to illustrate with some examples.

Nick Simard
2 min readOct 30, 2019

Man, the English language sure can be a bitch sometimes. It’s a wonder any of us can spell or read at all.

My wife asked me how to spell pallet tonight. Like a wooden pallet. I asked her whether she meant palate (like the roof of your mouth), a palette (like what artists have for colors) or the one she did mean, a pallet that you would put stuff on.

Any words that look like those? And do they sound the same?

There’s no malette.

There’s malate (a salt or ester of malic acid), but that’s pronounced like “mal ate”.

There’s a mallet, as in a thing that you hold and pound stuff with.

But then there’s ballet (doesn’t sound like mallet…that would be ballot).

Ballot rhymes with shallot. What rhymes with ballet? Is it shallet? No! Come on. It’s chalet, obviously.

There’s also a wallet, which uses the pronunciation of the first syllable “wall” and then adds “et” to the end. Unlike the aforementioned words that pronounce the beginning as though there’s just one l instead of two of them.



Nick Simard

Over-thinker, love to tinker, Coke Zero drinker. Boy Dad³ who values curiosity and creativity. App-addicted autodidact against alliteration.