Hale describes someone hearty and healthy. Rarr. All hail the next word! To hail is to greet enthusiastically. And when it hails, ice falls from the sky and hits those hale people on the head.

Hale means sturdy, the kind of people a certain prince wants at his masquerade party. In Edgar Allan Poe's "Masque of the Red Death," Prince Prospero invites 1,000 of his "hale and light-hearted" besties to his castle to cheat death. We know how that goes! These days the word hale often describes healthy older people, but anyone healthy can be hale, too. Observe:

"All these hale, silver-haired seniors, walking or jogging or cycling past the house." (New Yorker)

"Along with physical activity, your brain needs mental stimulation to stay hale and fit." (Time)

A less common use of hale is "to drag or force slowly," as in this example:

"She haled him into their special parlor, took his hat away from him, pulled out the most comfortable chair." (Charlotte Perkins Gilman)

Hail, on the other hand, has the "i" for "ice," but it's also a verb — raise your arm and hail a cab, hail the queen, or hail a great success. Hail means to call attention to something. Hail the following examples!

"Beyoncé has hailed Jackson's influence in the past, saying 'Michael Jackson changed me, and helped me to become the artist I am.'" (BBC)

"Americans have come to rely on their smartphones to help them do seemingly everything, like hailing a taxi and comparing prices of dog food." (New York Times)

Hail also means where you're from:

"Sanders hails from a neighboring state." (MSNBC)

To be hale is to be healthy. To hail is to call attention to a taxi or a king. Hail also has that "i" for ice!