The soundslike operator compares two words to see if they “sound like” each other.


This operator has two parameters:

word1 – The first word.

word2 – The second word.


The soundslike operater converts two words (text) to a phonetic codes using the soundex algorithm. This algorithm, originally created in 1918, attempts to create the same code for words that sound similar in English. The algorithm only works properly for English, and only for one word at a time, so each operand should be just one word. Finally the soundslike operator compares the codes to see if the words have similar pronunciations.

soundslike("smith","smythe") ☞ true
soundslike("katy","katie") ☞ true
soundslike("john","JON") ☞ true
soundslike("christy","christy") ☞ true

One weakness of this algorithm is that the two words must start with the same letter for the phonetic code to match. Because of this, word pairs like Christy and Kristy will not match.

Note: The soundex algorithm is not very exact, and often will produce extra matches that you might not think really sound similar. However, it almost never fails to match on names that do sound similar, so it is a good starting point when you are not sure of an exact spelling.

See Also


10.0No ChangeCarried over from Panorama 6.0