Difference Between Spade and Spayed
‘Spade’ and ‘spayed’ sound exactly the same. That is the only thing they have in common. They do not come from the same root word – in fact, ‘spade’ is Germanic and ‘spayed’ is from Latin – and they are different formed.
A spade is a tool similar to a shovel, meaning that it is primarily used for digging. Some people do consider it a type of shovel or use the terms interchangeably. The spade is a long, two-handed tool. The biggest difference between that spade and a shovel is that the bottom edge of the spade – the one that goes into the soil – is more squared than that of a shovel. Shovels typically have pointed blades, which allow them to penetrate the soil more easily. Spades do not have those points, though quite a few objects with the name do have pointed blades. They also usually have a footrest on them, which allows the user to step on them and add their weight to the digging process. Some shovels can have those, as well, but it is not as common.
There are a few tools that are also called spades. In the oil and chemical processing industries, there is a sheet of metal which is used to block off pipes. It has a tab on it, which sticks out when it is in use in order to let people know that it is in. That general shape is the reason it has its name. In kitchenware, there is also a flat scoop used to pick up large amounts of ice cream at a time. Finally, there is the tree spade, which is used to pick up trees and transplant them.
Related to the digging tool, there is the card suit. Spades is one of the four suits. It is always used ending in the s, but it is treated as a singular word. The spades cards feature a very stylized version of a spade, which looks more like a leaf than a shovel.
‘Spayed’ is the past tense form of the verb ‘to spay’. Spaying is when the ovaries of an animal are removed, damaged, or destroyed in order to prevent the animal from getting pregnant. This is specifically for female animals and shouldn’t be used for humans. The masculine terms are ‘castration’ – which can be used for both humans and animals – or ‘geld’ for animals, which is when testicles are removed. When talking about humans, ‘castrate’ can also be used to mean removing any of the male external genitalia. ‘Neutering’ is the gender-neutral term when talking about animals, and ‘sterilization’ is as well and it can be used for humans and animals.
Spaying is most often talked about in the context of getting pets neutered in order to prevent them from having unwanted babies. For some reason, when it does come up, the process is known as ‘spaying and neutering’, even though neutering is gender-neutral. This is most likely because people would be uncomfortable taking their pets to be castrated if that word was used, and the word ‘gelding’ is used most often for horses.
The two words are fairly easy to keep separate, since ‘spade’ is a noun and ‘spayed’ is a verb. There are also not many contexts in which a digging tool or a playing card could be used in place of the process of removing pet ovaries, or vice versa.
To sum up, a spade is a tool used for digging and scooping, and spades is a card suit. ‘Spayed’ is the past tense of the verb ‘to spay’, and it means removing animal ovaries.
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