Homophones for dairy, derry, dhurrie

dairy / derry / dhurrie [ˈderi]

dairy – n. – 1. a building or room for the storage, processing, and distribution of milk and its products; 2. a store where milk and milk products are sold; 3. milk and milk products; 4. Cape Breton a convenience store

derry – n. – 1. in Ireland, Londonderry; 2. Australia dislike, aversion, usually used with on; 3. a meaningless refrain or chorus in old songs; 4. a derelict building

dhurrie – n. – a rug of heavy cotton cloth, originally used in the Indian subcontinent

In the news...

When one says dairy, you need to listen closely to know just what they are talking about. Do they mean the multi-billion dollar milk industry? Are they speaking specifically of the foods derived from various milks? Are they speaking about history and the interaction of people with their flocks and herds? Are they speaking metaphorically? Or are they discussing an intersection of these? From diets to dollars people think about dairy. And why shouldn't they? After all, milk is the first food for humans.

Leaving mammalian concerns aside, we look at the second term. This has so many negative sentiments. But why?

Consider that 'derry' is thought to be derived from the old Irish term 'doire' or 'daire' meaning an oak grove or oak wood. Both of these sound positive. I suspect that if one digs deeper that the layers of history will reveal a growing contempt for people and cultures tossed aside. Even now, when the municipality of Londonderry is concerned, many want to discard the London part for cultural reason and retain the 'derry'. In doing so, they choose to give this term a stronger, positive meaning, perhaps reflecting the ancient oaks.

Finally, the third one takes us to a very different industry. Rug making. Specifically, Indian rugs. These traditional, light-weight rugs have adorned both royal and peasant homes and reflect both history and geography.


The designer dhurrie became a hot commody when American carpet designer Irwin Carey commissioned famed Indian weaver Shyam Ahuja to manufacture dhurries for him in the 1960s.

~Rug Guides: Dhurries (2023) - Matt Cameron

 The consumption of dairy - a source of food that allowed people to cross vast grasslands - is likely to have caught on as a survival mechanism.

~Solving an Ancient Dairy Mystery Could Help Cure Modern Food Ills (2020) - Alex Whiting