Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cheque it out

I wrote recently about spell check, and I just found another example.

I'm Americanizing a British non-fiction book — it's a continuing project — and I found the word cheque, the English word for check (as in paycheck). Well, spell check wasn't helpful with cheque.

It offered cherub (I can imagine a cherub trying to cash a check), coequal (I guess spell check needs to put a q in there somewhere), toque (have to look that one up), chouse (ditto), sequel, ceruse, chorus and choux. I didn't know the meaning of four of those words, and the spell check on this blog didn't like ceruse (a white lead pigment, sometimes used in cosmetics) and choux.

Choux was more interesting. The capitalized Chou was the imperial dynasty of China from 1122 to 221 BC; notable for the rise of Confucianism and Taoism. Chou lowercased can be either a vegetable (perhaps cabbage) or a puff filled with cream or custard. I didn't find choux.

I almost forgot: A toque is a woman's small, brimless, close-fitting hat, and chouse means a trick or sham.

I kinda like chouse; the meaning seems to fit.


Entries from The Dog Blog

Blog entries from The Auto Racing Journal
(a book of great stories about the Intimidator)
(the book of great NASCAR stories)

More blog entries by Tom Gillispie

Anecdotes by Tom Gillispie


  1. Sometimes conversions are difficult. What I would do in the future is refer to a British English to American English dictionary--there are some online, but you can also find them in bookstores.

    1. Brenda, you're being literal; I was being tongue-in-cheek. Thanks for the comment.