Which Word Wednesday: Trooper vs. Trouper


Over the past few years, my sweet maternal grandmother has endured several strokes and other health ailments. Each time, she has bounced back. She had another episode earlier this month, and once again, she rallied. I wanted to say she was a fighter, a tough cookie, a spunky gal. The word trooper came to mind . . . or was it trouper?

A perfect fit for Which Word Wednesday. Let’s look first to the New Oxford American Dictionary:

trooper :: noun
a state police officer; a private soldier in a cavalry, armored or airborne unit.

trouper :: noun
an actor or other entertainer; a reliable and uncomplaining person.

It’s fairly obvious, really—I wanted trouper with a U, because I certainly wasn’t describing my grandma as a policewoman!

Here’s the best memory hook I can see:

When soldiers gather they form troops; when performers gather, they form troupes.

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