Homophones for xiphioid, ziphioid

xiphioid / ziphioid [ˈzɪfɔɪd]

xiphioid – adj. – resembling or related to the genus Xiphias, large scramboid fish including the common swordfish

ziphioid – adj. & n. – adj. – resembling or related to the family Ziphiidae, a family of toothed whales; n. – a member of this whale family


Little wonder that these two terms can cause confusion. Both can be adjectives describing magnificent sea creatures. Both are technical. terms but that seems to be where the similarities end. 

Notice the sleek, tubulare body of the swordfish below. Remember that the Latin term for sword is "Xiphos". This fish  carries a long sword. It's body temperature varies with its surroundings. 

In contrast, all the whales are warm-blooded mammals. They cannot afford the sleek body of a fish, they carry  layers of blubber just to keep warm. Definitely not fish. And not even the narwhale can compare with the swordfish's elegant weapon.

Notice the slender, sleek body of this swordfish photographed by Michael Worton

Photo by Michael Worton via Unsplash