Are you at sea? Or are you in the centre of someone\u2019s belly?\n\nYou\u2019d have thought it\u2019d be easy to tell these situations apart, but then we have the words \u2018naval\u2019 and \u2018navel\u2019. Despite sounding exactly the same \u2013 and being close in spelling \u2013 these terms are entirely unrelated.\n\nAs such, you\u2019ll need to be careful when you use them in your writing. And to prevent unfortunate naval\/navel mix-ups, we\u2019ve prepared this quick guide.\nNaval (Related to the Navy)\nThe word \u2018naval\u2019 is an adjective meaning \u2018related to the navy\u2019. We use it when discussing ships or shipping, particularly military ships:\nHe served as a naval officer aboard the HMAS Victory.\nThe coastal town hosted a naval base until 1953.\n\n\n[caption id="attachment_8207" align="aligncenter" width="446"] Sadly, they didn't have space on the deck for the 'A', 'V' or 'Y'.(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Josue L. Escobosa)[\/caption]\n\nAny time you use \u2018naval\u2019, then, it should be related to seafaring or maritime forces. In other situations, you'll need our next word instead...\nNavel (Belly Button)\n\u2018Navel\u2019 is a noun that refers to the small, round bump or depression on the abdomen of placental mammals that remains after the umbilical cord is cut at birth. Or, to simplify that description somewhat, it\u2019s your belly button:\nShe first had her navel pierced as a teenager.\nHe wore a cropped top, his navel exposed.\nThis isn\u2019t a hugely common term, but you might hear it in the phrase \u2018navel-gazing\u2019. This concept began as a meditation aid, though it now usually suggests self-absorbed contemplation:\nYou\u2019ll never get ahead in life if you spend all day navel-gazing.\nThis is usually figurative, so \u2018navel-gazing\u2019 can apply regardless of whether the navel-gazer is actively staring at their own belly button.\n\nAnother place you sometimes see this word is in the name 'navel orange', which is the name of a type of orange that looks like it has a belly button.\n\n[caption id="attachment_8206" align="aligncenter" width="421"] Just think of the oranges themselves as fruit bellies.(Photo by Allentchang\/wikimedia)[\/caption]\n\nIn either case, though, this word is not related to shipping or the navy.\nSummary: Naval or Navel?\nThere aren\u2019t many situations in which \u2018naval\u2019 and \u2018navel\u2019 are interchangeable, so it\u2019s vital to know the difference between these terms:\n\n \tNaval is an adjective meaning \u2018related to a country\u2019s navy\u2019, so we only use this when discussing ships or shipping (especially military ships).\n \tNavel is a noun meaning \u2018the small round part of the abdomen left after the umbilical cord has been removed\u2019. In other words, it\u2019s a belly button.\n\nIf you struggle to tell these terms apart, though, remember that \u2018navel\u2019 is spelled with an \u2018e\u2019, and that your navel is at the centre of your belly, both of which also feature the letter \u2018e\u2019. And if you need any more help with word choice in a document, don\u2019t forget to have it proofread.