Third Wednesday: Embezzled vs. Emblazoned

Our example sentence is one from a long list sent to me by a reader.  Sadly, over a dozen examples of misused words came from one book she was reading.  So let’s take a look at the first word from that list.

“Each piece of crystal on the long table was embezzled with the royal crest.”


Embezzled – stole money entrusted to one’s care, or took money by fraud for one’s personal use.

How many big shots from Wall Street have embezzled money in the past ten years, and how many have been arrested and sentenced?

When Darrell didn’t get the promotion he felt he deserved, he embezzled the exact amount needed to purchase a private island near Bali.


Emblazoned – decorated or adorned with a coat of arms.

Pope Urban II ordered that each Knight Templar’s sword and tunic be emblazoned with their famous cross pattee.

Royal tailors emblazoned every stitch of Henry the Eighth’s clothing with his personal coat of arms in threads of gold.


Here’s another look at Embezzled and Emblazoned.


Dolores could not envision making her wedding toast in any goblet not embezzled with Marcus’s and her initials.

Only after Hobart failed to show up for the fourth day running did management discover he had emblazoned over thirty million dollars in the six months he’d worked there.


It may have seemed an easy solution to his problems, but once Hobart fled with his embezzled fortune, he discovered there was no place he could safely spend it.

Tiring of Dolores’ complaints, Marcus took it upon himself to order champagne glasses emblazoned with his family’s motto—“Get an iron-clad prenup or stay home.”

Marcus and Dolores were unaware that Hobart intended to launder his embezzled money through the auspices of a crystal company specializing in emblazoned wedding favors.

Need a memory trick to distinguish these words?  If it’s got a double “z,” it’s always about the money.  One “z” is about pride.