Palate vs. Palette vs. Pallet

How to use "palate," "palette," and "pallet" correctly

This is an entry on my list of Common Errors in English Usage. Visit the main page for direct links to additional entries.

Palate, palette, and pallet all have the same pronunciation [PAL it or PAL ət], but they have very different meanings:

palate = taste (both sensory and intellectual)

experienced wine drinker with a discriminating palate

palette = range of available colors or elements

artist’s palette

palette of emotions that the author draws on in her stories

pallet = crude mattress; kind of platform

monks sleeping on pallets

Related Resources

Common Errors in English Usage: Errors in diction and idiom commonly made by native speakers of English

List of Common Errors in English Usage (PDF): Printable version of the complete list

Common Grammar Errors: A list of common errors in grammar (topics like subject-verb agreement and parallelism) as distinct from usage

List of Common Errors in English Usage: PDF version

© 2006, 2008, and 2019 C. Brantley Collins, Jr.