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Bass vs Sass - What's the difference?

bass | sass |

As a proper noun bass

is an english brand of bottled pale ale.

As a noun sass is

(us) sarcasm, backtalk, cheek.

As a verb sass is

(us) to talk, to talk back.



Etymology 1

(etyl) .


(en adjective)
  • Of sound, a voice or an instrument, low in pitch or frequency.
  • The giant spoke in a deep, bass , rumbling voice that shook me to my boots.


  • A low spectrum of sound tones.
  • Peter adjusted the equalizer on his audio equipment to emphasize the bass .
  • A section of musical group that produces low-pitched sound, lower than tenor.
  • The conductor preferred to situate the bass in the middle rear, rather than to one side of the orchestra.
  • A male singer who sings in the bass range.
  • Halfway through middle school, Edgar morphed from a soprano to a bass , much to the amazement and amusement of his fellow choristers.
  • An instrument that plays in the bass range, in particular a double bass, bass guitar, electric bass or bass synthesiser.
  • The musician swung the bass over his head like an axe and smashed it into the amplifier, creating a discordant howl of noise.
  • The clef sign that indicates that the pitch of the notes is below middle C; a bass clef.
  • The score had been written without the treble and bass , but it was easy to pick out which was which based on the location of the notes on the staff.
    * (singer) basso * (clef) F clef
    Coordinate terms
    * (voice types) soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, contralto (female); countertenor, tenor, baritone, bass (male)
    Derived terms
    * bass clef * bass drum * bass guitar * bassline * bass music * bass note * booty bass * double bass * electric bass * figured bass * Miami bass


  • To sound in a deep tone.
  • * 1623 [1610], (William Shakespeare), The Tempest (First Folio ed.), act III, scene iii, lines 99-99
  • and the Thunder
    (That deepe and dreadfull Organ-Pipe) pronounc'd
    The name of Pro?per : it did ba?e my Tre?pa??e

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) bas, alteration of bars, from (etyl) .


  • The perch; any of various marine and freshwater fish resembling the perch, all within the order of Perciformes.
  • Derived terms
    * black bass * black sea bass * largemouth bass * sea bass * smallmouth bass * spotted bass * striped bass * white bass

    Etymology 3

    A corruption of bast.


  • The linden or lime tree.
  • Its bark, used for making mats.
  • A hassock or thick mat.
  • sass



  • (US) sarcasm, backtalk, cheek.
  • *
  • “Say — if you give me much more of your sass I’ll take and bounce a rock off’n your head.”
  • *
  • “Looky here — mind how you talk to me; I’m a-standing about all I can stand now — so don’t gimme no sass .”

    Derived terms

    * sassy


  • (US) To talk, to talk back.
  • *
  • “The duke he begun to abuse him for an old fool, and the king begun to sass back, and the minute they was fairly at it I lit out and shook the reefs out of my hind legs, and spun down the river road like a deer, for I see our chance; and I made up my mind that it would be a long day before they ever see me and Jim again.”
  • *
  • “But, good land! what did he want to sass back for? You see, it couldn’t do him no good, and it was just nuts for them.”