This is a collection of variant spellings, categorised by how they differ from their partner. By variant spellings, I mean those words that can be spelt more than one way and still be 'right'.

Many of these are differences between British & US spelling (for convenience, I've used "British" to refer to non-US usage. Most of the Commonwealth countries, including Australia, lean towards the British usage). However, despite what some websites will have you believe, this is not the only reason for variant spellings.

I've tried to keep this page simple. Its original purpose was to be a place for a quick check before 'correcting' supposed misspellings. However, sometimes clarification is needed or I came across something interesting while investigating a pair. In these cases, I've added a link to a separate page . At the bottom of that page there are also links to other web sites which go into more detail than I care to.

British vs US variations
British on left, US on right

re vs er

centre center
meagre meager
manoeuvre maneuver
metre meter

our vs or

behaviour behavior
colour color
flavour flavor
honourable honorable
labourer laborer
neighbourhood neighborhood

ise vs ize

analyse analyze
civilisation civilization
emphasise emphasize
immortalise immortalize
organised organized
realise realize
specialise specialize

e on the end

furore furor
annexe annex

ll vs l

enrolment enrollment
enthral enthrall
equalled equaled
fulfilment fulfillment
jewellery jewelry
tunnelling tunneling
traveller traveler
woollen woolen

ce vs se

defence defense
licence license
offence offense
practise practice
pretence pretense


artefact artifact
aluminium aluminum
carburettor/carburetter carburetor
catalogue catalog
cheque check
chequer checker
cosy cozy
disc disk
gaol jail
gramme gram
grey gray
kerb curb
maths math
moult molt
moustache mustache
nett net
pyjamas pajamas
plough plow
prologue prolog
programme program
sceptic skeptic
sulphur sulfur
tyre tire

Other spelling variations
Not necessarily US vs other.

t vs ed

spelt spelled
leant leaned
spilt spilled

-tion vs -xion

connection connexion
deflection deflexion
reflection reflexion

æ and œ

amoeba ameba
archaeology archeology
aeon eon
encyclopaedia encyclopedia
faecal fecal
manoeuvre maneuver

More than one variant (some of which are obsolete)

amok, amock, amuck
cosey, cosy, cozy
curtsey, curtsey, coursey
mannikin, manikin, manakin
racket, racquet, raquette
specksioneer, spectioneer, specktioneer
yogurt, yoghurt, yoghourt

in vs en

inclose enclose
inquire enquire
insure ensure

Miscellaneous: either unclassified or awaiting further research

abridgement abridgment
acknowledgement acknowledgment
advertise advertize
adviser advisor
alright all right
ambience ambiance
axe ax
bannister banister
barbeque barbecue
barque bark
calliper caliper
cauldron caldron
carrousel carousel
collectable collectible
conjurer conjuror
cypher cipher
descendent descendant
dispatch despatch
draft draught
enrol enroll
epaulette epaulet
flyer flier
fulfil fulfill
glycerin glycerine
judgement judgment
mannikin manikin
moniker monicker
nought naught
omelet omelette
prophecy prophesy
quay key
racoon raccoon
serjeant sergeant
skilful skillful
specialty speciality
storey story
supercede supersede
veranda verandah
vice vise
wagon waggon
whisky whiskey



Writing Index

Monissa Whiteley Monissa Whitely Monissa Whitley