Article of clothing or tasty dessert?

Balaclava or baklava?

I always get the two confused, and I have to stop and think. "Why were the bank robbers covered in a tasty dessert?" "Who wants to eat a hooded knit cap?"

Comments (21)
  1. Bob says:

    Baklava – pastry, associate with bak(ed), quick recognition w/no pause for thought

  2. McGurk says:

    Reminds me of when I took my girlfriend to a new restaurant I saw in a local strip mall–Caliente!.  Turned out to be a clothing store.

  3. michaele says:

    yay!  a non-geek-oriented post!!!  I’ve made that mistake before, too.

  4. Puckdropper says:

    Add a little salt, and hooded knit caps become a delicacy. :-) (joking)

  5. Fraxas says:

    I solve this problem by pronouncing Baklava as in the original Greek — the accent is on the final syllable.

    then BALaclava and baklaVA don’t sound too similar at all.

  6. Fraxas says:

    I solve this problem by pronouncing Baklava as in the original Greek — the accent is on the final syllable.

    then BALaclava and baklaVA don’t sound too similar at all.

  7. Chris says:

    At least they’re spelled differently, try <a href="">pasties</a&gt; and <a href="">pasties</a&gt;…in a dating situation this can be critical :)

  8. Bob says:

    Sounds like a Daily DisOrDat from  Come on, they recently had a "1 or 2?" round, so this should fit right in.

  9. Matt Davis says:

    Am I the only one that immediately thought of "It’s a floor wax AND a dessert topping!"?

    If you have no idea what I’m on about:

  10. Dean Harding says:

    Must be an American-accent thing, cause those two words sound totally different in an Australian accent…

  11. I solve this problem by pronouncing Baklava as in original Turkish…

    Actually ‘Baklava’ exists in Turkish while ‘Balaclava’ means nothing (gibberish that sounds like ‘Baklava’).

    To tell the truth, I’ve just learned ‘Balaclava’ exists in English by this post.

    I think ‘Baklava – pastry, associate with bak(ed)’ is the best suggestion so far, not that there’s any chance I can ever confuse the two words.

    Best regards,


  12. Drake Wilson says:

    Wait, a balaclava is an article of clothing… ?  I thought it was some kind of musical instrument—

    —oh, apparently I was thinking of the balalaika and of claves and sort of mixed them up.  c.c

  13. The Principle says:

    Try as hard as you want to keep words like that separate, you’re going to loose that battle.

  14. Yuriy says:

    To add to the confusion, there is also a city in Ukraine witha similar sounding name ;)

  15. Gabe says:

    My guess would be that the article of clothing is named for the city in Ukraine. The British soldiers there during the Crimean War were cold, so England made up some hats with masks and sent them over.

    In the US they’re primarily called ski masks because the US did not participate in the Crimean War, so they’re primarily used for skiing.

  16. Tom M says:

    I’m sorry, I really don’t quite see how you can get the two confused. There’s a whole extra syllable in balaclava, and it’s not as if they’re particularly difficult to spell. Now, merengue (ballroom dance of Dominican and Haitian folk origin) and  meringue (baked egg whites and sugar), that’s much tougher.

  17. James says:

    This is worrying: should I find myself in WA any time soon, can I take Raymond’s earlier recommendation of the new dessert restaurant at face value, or would I risk being served a plate of knitwear?

    Worse, it could even be selling deserts, with the house special leaving you with a big plate of heated sand…

  18. Peter says:

    I have the same problem with fiery mustard and fiery Muslims.

  19. In Israel, and I believe also in Arab countries, we call (the food) Baklava in the name Baklawa which is pronounced something like bak-la-u-ah (rhymes with Nashua).

    So it sounds kind of funny in to hear Baklava on American TV series and movies from time to time.

  20. Cooney says:

    I solve this problem by eating the Baklava and calling the article of clothing a headsock.

  21. Boris says:

    Suggested solution: adhere to good English style and use "hooded knit cap" instead of "balaclava".  It is much more difficult to describe baklava as briefly in common everyday English, which is why the use of the specialized term is excusable.

    "The robber was wearing a hooded knit cap to hide his appearance. He had eaten a piece of very sweet cake originating in…., which is made of …"

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