There are many common things that we often think are the same as other common things. In many instances, we just assume that, for whatever reason, there is more than one name for the same thing. After all, there ARE certain things that have more than one name.

What you may not know is that some things that appear to be similar at first glance are actually completely different. This is true when it comes to animals, food and many, many other things. Scroll down for 17 examples of things that seem similar but are actually completely different.

  1. Bees, Wasps and Hornets

    Bees are fuzzy and collect honey. Wasps are usually bigger and narrower than bees. They are also not fuzzy. Hornets are a type of wasp, but they are bigger than normal wasps.

  2. Broth and Stock

    According to Kate Heddings, the Food & Wine Executive Editor, stock is made with bones and is used for cooking. Broth is any liquid that meat was cooking in, and it is meant to be sipped.

  3. Sweet Potatoes and Yams

    Yams are usually darker and rougher on the outside, and they are white on the inside. Sweet potatoes are lighter on the outside and an orangish color on the inside. Many yams sold in the United States are actually sweet potatoes.

  4. Alligators and Crocodiles

    You can tell the difference by looking at the animal’s snout. An alligator has a U-shaped snout, but a crocodile has a V-shaped snout. Alligators usually live in freshwater, and crocodiles usually live in saltwater.

  5. Jelly, Jam and Preserves

    Jelly is very smooth and is made from fruit juice. Jam is made from crushed fruit. Preserves includes fruit chunks within a syrup or gel. It includes more fruit than jam. Marmalade is the name for preserves made from citrus fruit.

  6. Boat and Ship

    Boats are smaller than ships. A boat weighs less than 500 tons. A ship weighs more than 500 tons.

  7. Butter and Margarine

    Butter is made from cream. Margarine is made from vegetable oil.

  8. Champagne, Prosecco and Sparkling Wine

    Only wine made from grapes grown in the Champagne region in France can be called Champagne. Prosecco is made from grapes grown in the Veneto region in Italy. All other sparkling wine is called sparkling wine.

  9. Frogs and Toads


    Toads have dry, bumpy skin, and they are poisonous. Frogs have smooth or slimy skin, and they are not poisonous.

  10. Kangaroo and Wallaby

    A kangaroo can be 6 feet tall. A wallaby is much smaller, no more than 3 feet tall. A wallaby is not a baby kangaroo.

  11. Llamas and Alpacas 

    Alpacas weigh about 150 pounds while llamas are much bigger, weighing up to 400 pounds. An alpaca’s face also looks smooshed compared to a llamas longer face.

  12. Mug and Cup

    A cup is smaller than a mug. A cup only holds 6 ounces or less. A mug holds 8 ounces or more. Usually cups are used for tea while mugs are used for coffee.

  13. Possums and Opossums

    Possums live in Australia, but opossums live in North America. Opossums have a long tail that looks similar to a rat’s tale, but possums have a bushy tail.

  14.  Ice-Cream, Gelato, Sherbet and Sorbet

    Ice Cream in a Bag 5TipHero

    Ice-cream is made from custard that includes milk, cream, sweetener and usually egg yolks. Gelato doesn’t use as much cream as ice-cream and is lower in fat content. Sherbet is made from fruit puree or fruit juice, sweetener and a little bit of milk. It has less fat than ice-cream or gelato. Sorbet is made from fruit puree and sweetener. It does not include milk or cream. It is the lowest in fat content and also the least creamy in texture.

  15.  Turtle and Tortoise

    Turtles spend most of their lives in the water while tortoises live on land. Tortoise shells are rounded while turtle shells are thinner and designed for swimming.

  16. Stalactite and Stalagmite

    Think of a stalactite like an icicle. It hangs from the ceiling. Meanwhile, a stalagmite rises up from the ground looking like an upside-down stalactite.

  17.  Rabbit and Hare

    A bunny and a rabbit are two words for the same animal. A rabbit is smaller than a hare, and a jackrabbit is actually a type of hare. Hares (especially jackrabbits) run faster than rabbits. Hares usually prefer to live on their own while rabbits live in families.