Spelling bale

Dear Orchid,

I have a super silly but nagging question: Is the proper spelling
for the piece on a pendant which a chain threads through bale, or
bail? I see it listed both ways on different websites, but no
dictionary I have access to seems to have the last word. It’s
slightly maddening. Does anyone have an authoritative answer? Many



According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the correct spelling is
‘bail’, meaning a ring or half-hoop used for suspending something.
The spelling ‘bale’ refers to a volumetric description as in ‘bale of

Semiprec - beautiful jewellery

Look at these 2 links for an answer to your spelling question.Ed

Hi Holly…

A “bale” is a bundle of something…
like a bale of hay,
or a bale of cotton…
In terms of a pendant,
it seems misbegotten…

A “bail”, in the sense of a mechanical appurtenance…well… think
of the bail of a pail…

and you get the idea…something hangs from it…

Good grief…was almost running poetic there……

Gary W. Bourbonais

Hi Holly.

Don’t guarantee authority but I read that “bail” may be derived from
a Scandinavian word meaning “bow” - something bent into a simple
curve. Some meanings offered in my very old Webster’s Collegiate

--a supporting half hoop
--the usually arched handle of a kettle or pail 

“Carrying” the right spelling in my memory is easy when I picture
the bail of a pail.

Pam Chott
Song of the Phoenix

Holly, A bail goes on a pendant, a bale is what hay comes in. Check
whatever findings catalog you have. I used Stullers.

Jerry in Kodiak