'Stag' vs 'Buck': What's the Difference?

By Katie Moore, updated on October 13, 2023

‘Stag’ vs ‘Buck’: What’s the difference? Learning new vocabulary can also be a great way to explore different topics. In this article, we’ll teach you not only about words but give you a chance to learn about the animal kingdom. 

In a hurry? Here’s a quick version of what’s to come:

  • ‘Stag’ is a word that refers to a male deer
  • ‘Buck’ is a word that refers to the male of many horned animals

What’s the Difference Between ‘Stag’ vs ‘Buck’?

The main difference between these two words is going to come down to general versus specific information. One of these words refers to just one animal, but the other can refer to many.

  • ‘Stag’ is used specifically to refer to a male deer, while ‘Buck’ can be used to refer to the males of many different species.

It is important to note, though, that ‘Buck’ can also be used to describe deer, but to avoid confusion, remember the rule of rectangles:

A trick to remembering the difference between these words is by looking at their other definitions and seeing that they have different parts of speech in some cases.

  • The word ‘Buck’ can also be a verb, meaning it describes an action.
  • Meanwhile, the word ‘Stag’ can also be an adverb, meaning it qualifies an object. 

While there is no great trick to remembering ‘Buck’ as a verb, you can keep it separate from ‘Stag’ by connecting the “a” of ‘Stag’ to the “a” of ‘adverb.’

There is much more to learn about these words, so let’s take a closer look at the different meanings of ‘Stag’ vs ‘Buck.’

Definition of ‘Stag’: What Does it Mean?

According to Oxford Languages, ‘Stag’ is a noun that means:

  • A male deer
  • A social gathering attended by men only
    • “It was a stag event.”
  • A person who attends a social gathering unaccompanied by a partner
    • “The party invitation said no stags.”
  • (of the British stock market) a person who applies for shares in a new issue intending to sell at once for a profit

As an adverb, the word ‘Stag’ can also mean:

  • Without a partner at a social gathering
    • “A lot of boys went stag.”

Synonyms of ‘Stag’

  • Bull
  • Buck
  • Single 
  • Bachelor
  • Celibate
  • A bash
  • Party
  • Celebration
  • Available

Antonyms of ‘Stag’

Phrases with ‘Stag’

  • Going stag
  • Stag party
  • Wild stag

Definition of ‘Buck’: What Does it Mean?

According to Oxford Languages, ‘Buck’ is a noun that means:

  • The male of some horned animals, especially the fallow deer, roe deer, reindeer, and antelopes
  • A male hare, ferret, rat, rabbit, or kangaroo
    • "The buck was speedy and ran away from the hunter."
  • A vaulting horse
  • A vertical jump performed by a horse, with the head lowered, back arched, and back legs thrown out behind.
    • “The stallion performed a buck.”
  • A fashionable, typically high-spirited young man
    • “The dashing young buck loved to flirt.”
  • Slang for an American dollar bill
    • “It will cost you a buck fifty.”
  • Oxford shoes are made of buckskin.

As a verb, the word ‘Buck’ can also mean:

  • (of a horse) to perform a buck
    • “He’s got to get his head down to buck.”
  • (of a vehicle) make sudden jerky movements
    • “The boat began to buck in the water.”
  • Oppose or resist something that seems oppressive or inevitable
    • “The shares bucked the market trend.”

Finally, as an adjective, ‘Buck’ can mean:

  • Lowest of a particular rank
    • “He was a buck private.”

Synonyms of ‘Buck’

  • Bull
  • Stag
  • Jerk
  • Vault
  • Prance
  • Dislodge
  • Throw off 
  • Dollar
  • Launch
  • Oppose 

Antonyms of ‘Buck’

  • Doe
  • Female
  • Tramp
  • Pleb
  • Sheila
  • Lass
  • Stay on
  • Glide

Phrases with ‘Buck’

  • Buck naked
  • Buck up
  • Make a buck
  • Buckwild
  • Bang for your buck
  • Big bucks

Pronunciations: How to Pronounce ‘Stag’ vs ‘Buck’

Learning definitions is only part of the process when you encounter new words, especially since half of our language use comes in conversation. Follow the guides below to learn to properly pronounce ‘Stag’ vs ‘Buck’ so you feel comfortable saying the words aloud

Use this phonetic spelling of ‘Stag’ as a guide:

  • ‘Sta-g’ (the vowel in this case is wide as in the word “apple”)

Use this phonetic spelling of ‘Buck’ as a guide:

  • ‘Buh-k’ (the vowel in this case is low as in the word “fun”)

How to Use ‘Stag’ vs ‘Buck’ in a Sentence

The final step to mastering new words is being able to use them on your own terms. Use the sample sentences below to give you an idea of how ‘Stag’ vs ‘Buck’ and their multiple definitions can appear in a variety of contexts. 

‘Stag’ Example Sentences

  • While it was illegal to hunt doe because of their ability to give birth, you could still hunt stags in this part of the woods. 
  • In America, we use the term bachelor party for a man who’s about to get married, but in the United Kingdom, they say stag party. 
  • The party invitation clearly stated that all attendees must have a guest, which ruined the plans of the boys who wanted to go as stags.
  • Her favorite painting in the house was a giant landscape of the forest that featured a large stag standing majestically in the bottom corner. 

‘Buck’ Example Sentences

  • The red-nosed reindeer Rudolph did not get along with the other young bucks because they made fun of his nose.
  • The horse bucked its rider out of the saddle when it stopped abruptly before it was supposed to jump. 
  • I would have bought myself a new pair of shoes, but the ones I wanted cost over one hundred bucks
  • As a buck private, he had very little say within the ranks and often got pushed around by the other troops.

‘Stag’ vs ‘Buck’ Example Sentences

  • The young buck had so much confidence in himself that he didn’t mind going stag to the big public gala.
  • The stag bucked around, trying to untangle itself after getting its antlers stuck in a tree. 

Final Advice on ‘Stag’ vs ‘Buck’

Sometimes, learning new words opens us to a whole new world beyond just grammar and definitions. Because of this, it’s important to learn to apply multiple definitions of words to the world around us so we get a more holistic understanding of our vocabulary. Who knows, words like ‘Stag’ vs ‘Buck’ could help you at both a school dance and on a hunting trip. 

Need a recap? Here’s a short review of what was covered:

  • ‘Stag’ is a noun that refers specifically to a male deer or an event for men only
  • ‘Buck’ is a noun that refers to a variety of horned male animals as well as a jerking motion

Want to see more ways vocabulary can connect us to the world? Be sure to check out other confusing word articles that cover everything from culture to history to science. And don’t be afraid to see where definitions take you and deep dive into topics that interest you — that’s another great way to expand your vocabulary.

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Written By:
Katie Moore
Katie is a recent graduate of Occidental College where she worked as a writer and editor for the school paper while studying linguistics and journalism. She loves helping others find their voice in writing and making their work the strongest it can be. Katie also loves learning and speaking other languages and wants to help make writing accessible for everyone.

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