Palet vs. Pallet vs. Palate vs. Palette

Today, I have a four-way confusable: palet, pallet, palate, and palette all mean different things, and they’re easily typoed into each other. A spellchecker won’t help, since they’re all valid spellings.

Here are some notes to help in picking the right spelling.


  • a botanical term for part of a flower; also called a palea or pale (forgive me for not being more specific on this one; I’m not a botanist, and I only ran into this spelling today)


  • the head or armor for the head
  • straw-filled mattress, hard bed, or temporary bed
  • portable platform; as a verb, to put something on a pallet
  • instruments used by potters, plasterers, gilders, bookbinders
  • a part of a ratchet wheel, clock, chain pump, or pipe organ
  • a stripe on a heraldic shield


  • roof of mouth
  • sense of taste (sensory or intellectual)
  • flavor of wine or beer
  • as a verb, to taste


  • board used by artists to mix colors
  • range or set of colors
  • a tool used by a croupier to move cards, money, and chips on a table


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