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"Hale" Versus "Hail"

The hale farmer, who hails from Scotland, haled the bag up the hill.

By
Ashley Dodge, assistant to,
July 31, 2012

 

Katie asked, “Does someone ‘hail from’ or ‘hale from’ a place? My AP stylebook doesn’t have the answer, and I don’t trust the internet.”

The right way to say it is that you hail from a place.

“Who are you? What planet do you hail from?” – Lionel from the film Because I Said So

“Hail from” was originally used for ships, to show which port they had come from. If you can remember that "hail" rhymes with "sail," and sails are on ships, and ships come from different places, you’ll remember "hail from."

What about “hale” then? According to Merriam-Webster, “hale” is a verb meaning “to haul, pull” and an adjective meaning “free from infirmity.”

  • The farmer haled the bag potatoes from the floor onto the table. (verb)

  • Shirley’s grandmother, still hale at 91 years old, shoveled snow off her driveway. (adjective)

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