For today’s edition of Grammar 101, we take a look at another pair of words that can be easily confused. Do you know the difference between bizarre and bazaar? These are two very different terms with very different meanings.
Bizarre is an adjective used to modify or describe a noun. If something is bizarre, it means that it is grossly unconventional, unusual, or strange. You could say that Carrot Top has a bizarre haircut or that Pablo Picasso’s cubism is about as bizarre an art style as it gets.
While it can carry a negative connotation at times, the term bizarre does not necessitate a negative connotation. In the Picasso example above, I am simply stating that his style of painting is odd and unconventional.
Bazaar, a noun, is a shop or series of small shops where different items are sold. Most commonly associated with the street markets of Asia, the stereotypical bazaar will look like a narrow street with tent-like kiosks set up on either side, selling jewelry, clothing, and other goods. You can also have a “bazaar” where items are sold for charity, possibly raising money for a church.
And yes, it is very much possible to have a bizarre bazaar, though most bazaars are quite bizarre by conventional North American standards. You want to have good grammar, so don’t get the two words confused.