What’s in a Word?

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while, trying to come up with some insightful reason as to why the words “homemade, hand-made, and hand-crafted” aren’t interchangeable. I haven’t come up with a reason why, so I’ll just ponder and maybe one of you can give me some insight.

It appears that you can use the words “hand-made” and “hand-crafted” for artistic-type items, like furniture, cards, scarves, etc. These items tend to sell at a premium because they are not mass-produced. It’s interesting, because one would tend to assume that humans make more mistakes than machines, and thus, these items should have more flaws.

“Homemade” seems to be the word of choice for baked goods like pies and cakes. These items also sell at a premium, and come with premium respect when brought to a party.

So why can’t scarves be “homemade” and pies be “hand-made”? Why are “homemade” gifts less desireable than “hand-crafted” or “hand-made” gifts, but “homemade” pies and cookies are impressive? The words have the exact same meaning, but seem to significantly affect the value of the items they describe. Any thoughts on these synonyms?

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