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Faze or Phase?

Faze and phase sound the same but come from different roots. Don't be fazed if your teenager is going through a phase.

By
Mignon Fogarty,

Janette B. asked me to explain the difference between faze and phase.

Faze is an Americanism that emerged in the 1820s as a variation of the word feeze, which I bet you've never heard. Feeze is an extremely old English word that meant "to beat away, frighten, or drive off"; similarly, faze means "to disturb, daunt, or worry."

  • The Hawaiian football team pretended to be unfazed when the Minnesota players warmed up shirtless in the snowstorm.

faze or phaseA phase, on the other hand, is most commonly a period or stage such as the phase of the moon, the latest leg-warmer phase that a fashion victim endures, or the first phase of a villain's evil plan.

Phase comes from the Latin word phasis, which means "to bring light or to show" (as in the way the moon or a star shows up in the sky or brings light).

Don't be fazed if your teenager is going through a phase.

Teenager in a Phase photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

101 Misused WordsGet more tips like this in 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again:

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