To broach a subject is to bring it up. A brooch is a decorative pin. These words sound exactly the same! They rhyme with "coach." Both come from a word root meaning "something pointy," but the spelling brooch branched off as a word for the piece of jewelry.
The word broach comes from a Middle English word for "pointed tool." These days, it’s usually used as a verb meaning "to mention something gently" or "to bring up a difficult subject." Here are some examples:
He’d dreaded broaching the topic with his coaches and teammates, but they were supportive. (Washington Times)
He called a team meeting to openly broach the subject. (Los Angeles Times)
Change that "a" to an "o" and you have brooch. This word is usually pronounced the same way as broach, but if you say it to rhyme with "pooch," that’s acceptable too. A brooch is a decorated pin, like a golden owl brooch with emerald eyes. Take a look at these lovely brooches in the news:
She’s wearing spectacles and a lace collar fastened with a cameo brooch. (Fox News)
The 34-year-old Grammy and Oscar-winner belted out the iconic song in a blue and red ball gown with matching gloves and her jewelry included a large golden dove brooch. (Fox News)
The Queen, 93, standing at the front of her family, wears a white dress with a blue brooch and clutches a handbag. (BBC)
To remember the difference, broach has an a like "approach," and brooch has two o's like eyes on an owl brooch.
Broach means to bring up or introduce a sensitive issue. If your best friend has severe phobia of spiders, you might want to delicately broach the topic of your new pet tarantula, Mr. Fuzzy. Continue reading...