‘Margarita’ or ‘Margherita’: How to Spell ‘Margarita’ Correctly

By Shanea Patterson, updated on November 16, 2022

Should you ask someone if they want a ‘margarita’ or a ‘margherita’? It might be tricky if you’re not a native English speaker (and sometimes, even if you are). But we’ll cover that in this article and teach you how to use it in a sentence.

Don’t feel like skimming? Here’s the short answer:

The word ‘margarita’ is used when referring to the drink.

The word ‘margherita’ is used when referring to pizza.

Easily Confused Words: Margarita vs. Margherita

The words ‘margarita’ and ‘margherita’ are often used interchangeably in the English language, but that’s not the correct way to use the words because they mean different things.

Margarita or Margherita: How Do You Spell It? 

So, what’s the correct way to spell the word?

Well, both ways because these are two different words. They’re what we call homophones or homonyms in the English language.

Correct Spelling for Margarita

The correct way to spell the words is ‘margarita’ and ‘margherita.’ 

Understanding Homophones

Believe it or not, a lot of words in the English language sound the same but are spelled differently and mean different things. They're called homophones or homonyms.

Take a look at a few homophones in the English language and their meanings.

  • One (number)/won (past tense of win)
  • Berry (food)/Bury (cover from view)
  • Build (develop)/Billed (charged or invoiced)
  • Son (male offspring)/sun (the yellow thing in the sky)
  • None (not any; zero)/nun (a woman belonging to a religious order)
  • Bear (animal) /Bare (exposed)
  • Suite (luxury hotel room)/sweet (being, inducing, or marked by one of the five basic taste sensations that is usually pleasing to the taste and typically induced by sugars like sucrose or glucose)
  • Genes (a specific sequence of nucleotides in DNA or RNA)/jeans (pants made of denim)
  • Cruise (ship/to move)/crews (group of people associated together in a common activity or by common traits or interests)
  • Sea (great body of salt water that covers much of the earth)/see (to perceive by the eye)
  • Threw (past tense of throw, as in throw a ball)/through (used as a function word to indicate movement into at one side or point and out at another and especially the opposite side of)

As you can see, ‘margarita’ and ‘margherita’ fall into the homophone category.

Definition and Meaning

Now that we know that both of these words are technically correct let’s define both words.

The Merriam-Webster definition of ‘margarita’ is “a cocktail consisting of tequila, lime, or lemon juice, and an orange-flavored liqueur.

The Cambridge definition of ‘margherita’ is “a pizza with tomatoes and cheese on top.”

The words can also be used as a woman’s name in some cultures.

A Brief History

The word ‘margarita’ originated in 1963 and comes from the Spanish form of Margaret. It used to mean “a Spanish wine” in English in the 1920s.

Margaret is a female name from the 1300s that comes from the Old French Margaret, which would be Marguerite. That stems from the late Latin name Margarita, which means “pearl.”

It’s also from the Greek margarites (lithos).

How to Use ‘Margarita’ and ‘Margherita’ in a Sentence Correctly 

Now that you know the definitions of both words let’s see some examples of how to use both words in a sentence correctly.

Here’s how you’d use ‘margarita’ in a sentence correctly:

  • Are you really drinking a margarita right now? It’s not even noon!
  • She has tons of photos on her Instagram holding a margarita.
  • I wanted to get a margarita after work, so I went to a bar with some co-workers last night.

Now, let’s see how you’d use ‘margherita’ in a sentence correctly:

  • As a restaurateur, I know the difference between cheese pizza and margherita pizza.
  • Which one do you want – the pepperoni or the margherita pizza?
  • My dad always makes margherita pizza in the summer.

Final Thoughts on ‘Margarita’ and ‘Margherita’

To recap, you’ve learned that both ‘margarita’ and ‘margherita’ are words used in the English language. However, they can’t be used interchangeably because they mean two totally different things.

Remember, you use ‘margarita’ when talking about the drink and ‘margherita’ when talking about pizza.

If you ever get stuck, you can always come back here and search through our library of articles dedicated to explaining confusing words and phrases in English.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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