High-toned or Lowbrow Usage?

Last weekend I left my dough to rise too long and it produced tall, fluffy slices that I could conceivably call “high bread,” almost too flimsy for sturdy sandwiches. Then a correspondent alerted me to the misspelling “highbred,” which I at first assumed was not a legitimate word, but further research produced the following new entry.


 “Highbred”(often spelled “high-bred”) is occasionally used to label animals with superior ancestry. Snobs used to refer to members of the nobility as “highbred.”

 But this rare word is often confused with “hybrid,” which describes plants, animals, and people that are the product of mixed heritage. The offspring of a line of prize-winning dogs would be “highbred,” but a dog could be called “hybrid” if its ancestry were mixed. It might be a prizewinner, but it might also be a mutt.

Except in a context where “highbred” is routinely used in this technical context, stick with “hybrid.” It’s almost certain to be the word you need.

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