Homonyms: Profit and Prophet

prof-it / prŏf-ĭt

1. a monetary gain
Profit is a by-product of work; happiness is its chief product.
Henry Ford, 1863 – 1947

2. the excess of revenues over expenses
Small profits and often, are better than large profits and seldom.
German Proverb

3. a benefit
It is of no profit to have learned well, if you neglect to do well.
Publilius Syrus, 85 BC – 43

1. to receive a benefit or advantage
Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.
Plutarch, 45 – 120

2. to make a financial gain from a transaction
Unlike other kinds of doctors, cancer doctors are allowed to profit from the sale of chemotherapy drugs.
Rehema Ellis, “Cancer docs profit from chemotherapy drugs“, NBC News, 9-21-2006

3. to be of benefit or assistance to
Reading that pleases and profits, that together delights and instructs, has all that one should desire.
Jacques Amyot, 1513 – 1593


proph-et / prŏf-ĭt

1. a person who speaks by divine inspiration; one who interprets God’s will
Every religion has a prophet who is pointing people to God.
Timothy Keller, 1950 –

2. a person who predicts what is going to happen in the future
The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains— mountain-dwellers who have grown strong there with the forest trees in nature’s workshop.
John Muir, 1838 -1914

3. a spokesperson for a cause or movement
The task of the prophet is not to smooth things over but to make things right.
Eugene H. Peterson, 1932 – 2018

4. (Islam) Prophet, usually preceded by “the”, refers to Muhammad, who founded Islam
The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “Indeed, an ignorant man who is generous is dearer to God than a worshipper who is miserly.”
Muhammad ibn Isa at-Tirmidhi, 824 – 892

5. (Morman) the name given to John Smith, who founded the Morman Church
When brother Brigham and brother Joseph Young went up to see the Prophet, they found him chopping wood; for he was a labouring man, and gained his bread by the sweat of his brow.
Wilford Woodruff, 1807 – 1898