Color Palette, Palate Or Pallet?

Color palette, cup of colored pencils and a small chalkboardTime For A Pop Quiz

Choose the correct word for the following sentence — When I get back from vacation, I’m going to use my photos to inspire a new color palette / pallet / palate for re-decorating my home office.​

If you chose palette, congratulations! That is the correct answer.

If you chose one of these two words know that you aren’t alone. I often see the words palate or pallet incorrectly used to reference color and it is an easy mistake to make.

All three words sound alike but have different spellings and meanings. Bonus points if you know what term is used to describe words that have the same pronunciation but have different meanings, origins, or spelling. The answer is at the end of this post.

Color Palette. Not Color Palate Or Color Pallet.

Palette
A palette is a range of colors. It is also the board that artists use to hold and mix paint. According to vocabulary.com palette has extended beyond actual colors to include figurative colors. For example, a musician can use a palette of tones and modes.

Palate
When you touch your tongue to the top of your mouth you’re touching your palate. Palate is also used when discussing taste in a broader sense as in: Just picked strawberries are pleasing to my palate.

Pallet
This word has several meaning but none directly related to color. Pallet mainly refers to a slab or framework of wood used for carrying things or moving cargo.

Now just be sure to use the right word when writing about color. You can thank me later for saving you from the keen eyes and judgemental thoughts of the “spelling and grammar police”.

And your bonus answer–homophone.

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