I like this one a lot because I also work with metal. Hence the picture of a blacksmith hammering a hot horseshoe. No, I am not a farrier; I am a journeyman sheet metal worker. I will post a picture of a piece I made as an apprentice, a long time ago, in a galaxy far away. I am wandering now, let us pursue our quarry and take a closer look.
Mettle is a rather isolated word, a form from old English meaning Metal in picturesque way. Some of the qualities of Metal humanized. Solidness, strength, as in resolve and bravery. We really do not use it much beyond the way it is in the title above.
Medal is a most commonly a decoration for winning a race or a significant achievement in civilian or military life. Many Medals are given out during the Olympic games every two years. Medals are made of precious Metals most of the time.
Metal is refined from ore dug out of the ground. The refining process involves a lot of heat among other things. Heat is also needed to shape Metal into useful objects.
Meddle is when someone sticks their nose into another's business without an invitation. A Meddlesome busybody is very irritating to all around her or him.
These words are interesting for a number of reasons. The second and third have only one letter difference, plus they are related to each other in meaning. The first and fourth have a similar form with double consonants, plus they start and end in similar fashion.
Four way homonyms are a thing of wonder, and a delightfully playful thing for the mind.
I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Words For Thought, and keep on writing.