‘Cue’ and ‘queue’

The first homophones of the year are cue and queue. The order of the vowels in queue is also a source of confusion for some writers.

Cue:

  • a signal for action
  • a signal for an actor to enter or begin
  • a hint or signal about how to behave
  • a reminder
  • a long, straight, tapering wooden rod used to strike the ball in games such as billiards and snooker; to hit a ball with a cue
  • to act as a prompt or reminder
  • to set audio or visual equipment in readiness to play
  • on cue – at the right moment

Queue:

  • Queuea line or sequence of people or vehicles awaiting their turn; to form or remain in a line while waiting
  • (in computing) a list of data items, commands, etc.,  stored so they are retrievable in a particular order; to arrange such items in a queue
  • a plait of hair or braid worn at the back
  • to be keen to do or have something (e.g. they were queuing up to hire him)

Cue jokes about British people in a queue.

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