Thank you to my husband Matthew for suggesting this one (he’s quite the fount of troublesome pairs, so watch out for more of his ones as we go through this new set of them), after he discovered himself that these two are in fact two different things.
So what’s the difference between a mandolin and a mandoline?
A mandolin is a musical instrument which is like a lute, with pairs of metal strings that are played using a plectrum.
A mandoline (which can also be spelled mandolin, hooray!) is that vegetable slicer thing (a flat body with adjustable slicing blades) that always looks like it will take your finger off.
“She was playing the mandolin, being careful not to hurt her fingers on the metal strings, while he cut vegetables using the mandoline, bring careful not to slice his fingers on the metal blades.”