Posted by: Jack Henry | August 29, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Palate, Palette, Pallet

Today, I’m going to discuss three commonly confused words: palate, palette, and pallet. I’ll also give you some tips to remember how to spell each word correctly.


Here’s the definition of palate (from Merriam-Webster):

  • palate: the roof of the mouth separating the mouth from the nasal cavity

Palate can also refer more generally to the sense of taste (as in the phrase, “serves Korean food adapted for the American palate”).

How to Remember Palate

That food you ate was pleasing to your palate. Palate contains the word ate.


Here’s the definition of palette (from Merriam-Webster):

  • palette: a thin oval or rectangular board or tablet that a painter holds and mixes pigments on

Palette can also refer to a range of elements (other than paint). For example, the Laredo Morning Times recently used the headline, “Jack White expands palette on solo tour,” meaning that the former White Stripes guitarist drew from a range of musical styles.

How to Remember Palette

The suffix -ette (“little”) is common in French, and there are many famous French painters. Imagine a French painter mixing colors on a palette.


Here’s the definition of pallet (from Wiktionary):

  • pallet: a portable platform, usually designed to be easily moved by a forklift, on which goods can be stacked for transport or storage

How to Remember Pallet

You can use a wooden pallet as firewood. But first, you need to break it up with a mallet. Pallet is spelled like mallet.

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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