Before April showers bring May flowers, there are a lot of puddles around. If you’re inclined to splash around in your galoshes, you need to know the difference between “spatter” vs. “splatter.” Neither are misspellings. And there is a difference.
Take a moment with this one. Any guesses?
Here’s what you need to know:
- “Spatter” can mean to splatter—as in to spread, splash, or distribute in drops—and it can also be the spread out scattering of drops themselves.
- “Splatter” follows nearly the same definition as a verb and as a noun, but the difference comes in the size of the drops. Remember, when “splash” and “spatter” combined, “splatter” came into existence. Thus, “splatter” is a bigger, splashier spreading of drops.
A drizzle might spatter the pavement. A car driving by a puddle will splatter someone walking down the sidewalk. When water splatters into your watering can from your spigot, a spatter of drops might cling to the side of the metal. When the sprinkler is turned on, it will splatter your garden (or you, if you decide to run through it).
Use “spatter” and “splatter” interchangeably if you wish. Most people do nowadays. However, if your meticulous nature enjoys subtleties of language, this one’s for you.