[This article is a sequel to American Spellings for British Schools? in J21, 1997/1]

Choosing between American and British spellings as standards for written English. Part 2.

In Part 1: Preface | Differences between British and American English | Index of Topics of detailed analysis

Topic 12. Alphabetical list of recommended spellings.

In the following list recommended spellings are listed in plain type, while non-recommended forms are listed in italics with the preferred alternative following in plain type. Most of the preferred forms are standard in America, but a few are in minority or non-standard usage there, and a few are standard in Britain but not in America. For words recommended with two spellings (eg, behove, behoove), each represents a different pronunciation. Some words (eg, macabre) are listed simply to show that an otherwise regular pattern of change (here, -re > -er) does not apply, and the form 'macaber' is not available.

A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L. M. N. O. P. Q. R. S. T. U. V. W. X. Y. Z.

A
acknowledgement (+s)
     > acknowledgment (+s) acknowledgment
acre
advertise > advertize
advertize
adz (+es)
adze (+s) > adz (+es)
aeon (+s) > eon (+s)
aesthete (+s) > esthete (+s)
aesthetic (+s) > esthetic (+s)
agonise > agonize
agonize
aluminium
aluminum
ameba
amoeba > ameba
anaemia > anemia
analog
analogue > analog
analyse > analyze
analyze
he analyses > he analyzes
he analyzes
his analyses
anemia
appall +s
appal +s > appall +s
apologise > apologize
apologize
appareled
apparelled > appareled
authorise > authorize
arbor
arbour > arbor
archaeology > archeology
archaeologist > archeologist
archeology
archeologist
ardor
ardour > ardor
armor (+y)
armour (+y) > armor (+y)
artefact (+s) > artifact (+s)
artifact (+s)
authorise > authorize
authorize
ax (+ed, +ing, +es)
axe > axe (+ed, +ing, +es)

B
baptise > baptize
baptize
bark (+s)
barque (s) > bark (+s)
bedevil +ed, +ing
bedevil +led, +ling > bedevil +ed, +ing
behavior (+ism)
behaviour (+ism) > behavior
behoove
behove
bevel +ed,+ing
bevell +ed,+ing > bevel+ed,+ing
blamable
blameable > blamable
boro (+s)
borough (+s) > boro (+s)
brasier > brazier
brazier

C
cadre
caldron (+s)
caliber
calibre > caliber
calipers
callipers > calipers
calisthenics
callisthenics > calisthenics
cancel +ation, +ed, +ing
cancel +lation, +led, +ling
     > cancel +ation, +ed, +ing
candor
candour > candor
carat > karat
carburet +er (+s)
carburett +er,+or (+s) > carburet +er (+s)
catalog (+ed, +ing, +er, +s)
catalogue (+d, [e]+ing, +r, +s)
     > catalog (+ed, +ing, +er, +s)
cauldron (+s) > caldron (+s)
cavil +ed, +ing
cavil +led, +ling > cavil +ed, +ing
center
centimeter
centimetre > centimeter
centre > center
centralise > centralize
centralize
channel +ed, +ing
channel +led, +ling > channel +ed, +ing
characterise > characterize
characterize
check (+s)
checker (+s)
cheque (+s) > check (+s)
chequer (+s) > checker (+s)
chili (+s) > chilli (+s)
chilli (+s)
cigaret (+s)
cigarette (+s) > cigaret (+s)
civilise > civilize
civilize
clamor (+ed, +ing, +ous, +s)
clamour (+ed, +ing, +ous, +s)
     > clamor (+ed, +ing, +ous, +s)
clangor
clangour > clangor
cognisance > cognizance
cognizance
cognisant > cognizant
cognizant
colonise > colonize
colonize
color (+ation, +ed, +ful, +ing, +s)
colour (+ation, +ed, +ful, +ing, +s)
     > color (+ation, +ed, +ful, +ing, +s)
computerise > computerize
computerize
cosier > cozier
cosiest > coziest
cosiness > coziness
cosy > cozy
councilor
councillor > councilor
counsel +ed, +ing, +or
counsel +led, +ling, +lor
     > counsel +ed, +ing, +or
cozier
coziest
coziness
cozy
criticise > criticize
criticize
cruel +er, +est
cruel +ler, +est > cruel +er, +est
crystal(l)ise > crystalize
crystalize
cudgel +ed, +ing
cudgel +led, +ling > cudgel +ed, +ing
curb (+s)

D
defence (+s) > defense (+s)
defense (+s)
demeanor
demeanour > demeanor
demagog (+s)
demagogue(+s) > demagog (+s)
deviled
devilled > deviled
devour (+ed, +ing, +s)
dial (+ed, +ing)
dial (+led, +ling) > dial (+ed, +ing)
dialog (+s)
dialogue (+s) > dialog (+s)
dialyse > dialyze
dialyze
diarrhea
diarrhoea > diarrhea
discolor (+ation, +ed, +ing, +s)
discolour (+ation, +ed, +ing, +s)
     > discolor (+ation, +ed, +ing, +s)
dishevel +ed
dishevel +led > dishevel +ed
dishonor (+ed, +ing, +s)
dishonour (+ed, +ing, +s)
     > dishonor (+ed, +ing, +s)
distill (+s)
distil (+s) > distill (+s)
donut (+s)
doughnut (+s) > donut (+s)
draft (+ed, +ing, +s, +y)
draught (+s, +ty) > draft (+ed, +ing, +s, +ty)
dramatise > dramatize
dramatize
draughty > drafty
drivel +ed, +ing
drivel +led, +ling > drivel +ed, +ing

E
edema
emigre (+s)
emphasise > emphasize
emphasize
enamel +ed, +ing
enamel +led, +ling > enamel +ed, +ing
encyclopaedia > encyclopedia
encyclopedia
endeavor (+ed, +ing, +s)
endeavour (+ed, +ing, +s) > endeavor (+ed, +ing, +s)
enquire (+d, [e]+ing, +s) > inquire (+d, [e]+ing. +s)
enquiry ([y]+ies) > inquiry ([y]+ies)
enroll (+ment, +s)
enrol (+ment, +s) > enroll (+ment, +s)
enthrall (+s)
enthral (+s) > enthrall (+s)
eon (+s)
epaulet (+s)
epaulette (+s) > epaulet (+s)
epilog (+s)
epilogue (+s) > epilog (+s)
equal +ed, +ing
equal +led, +ling > equal +ed, +ing
esthete (+s)
esthetic (+s)
estrogen
exorcise > exorcize
exorcize

F
faeces > feces
favor (+able, +ed, +ing, +ite, +s)
favour (+able, +ed, +ing, +ite, +s)
     > favor (+able, +ed, +ing, +ite, +s)
femur
feces
fertilise > fertilize
fertilize
fervor
fervour > fervor
fetus (+es)
fiber (+s)
fibre (+s) > fiber (+s)
flavor (+ed, +ing, +s)
flavour (+ed, +ing, +s) > flavor (+ed, +ing, +s)
foetus (+es) > fetus (+es)
fossilise > fossilize
fossilize
fuel +ed, +ing
fuel +led, +ling > fuel +ed, +ing
fulfill (+ment, +s)
fulfil (+ment, +s) > fulfill (+ment, +s)
funnel +ed, +ing
funnel +led, +ling > funnel +ed, +ing

G
gage (+d, gaging, +s)
gauge (+d, gauging, +s)
     > gage (+d, gaging, +s)
gambol +ed, +ing
gambol +led, +ling > gambol +ed, +ing
gaol +ed, +ing, +or, +s
     > jail +ed, +er, +ing, +or, +s
gelatin
gelatine
generalise > generalize
generalize
genre (+s)
glamor (+ize, +ous) glamour (+ize, +ous)
     > glamor (+ize, +ous)
glycerin
glycerine
gobbledegook
gobbledygook > gobbledegook
goiter (+s)
goitre (+s) > goiter (+s)
gravel +ed, +ing
gravel +led, +ling > gravel +ed, +ing
gray +er, +est > grey (+er, +est, +hound)
grey (+er, +est, +hound)
grovel +ed, +ing
grovel +led, +ling > grovel +ed, +ing
gynaecology > gynecology
gynecology

H
haemoglobin > hemoglobin
haemorrhage (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
     > hemorrhage (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
harbor (+ed, +ing, +s)
harbour (+ed, +ing, +s)
     > harbor (+ed, +ing, +s)
hemoglobin
hemorrhage (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
honor (-able, +ed, +ing, +s)
honor +ary, +ific
honour (+able, +ed, +ing, +s)
     > honor (+able, +ed, +ing, +s)
humor (+ed, +ing, +ous, +s)
humour (+ed, +ing, +ous, +s)
     > humor (+ed, +ing, +ous, +s)
hydrolyse > hydrolyze
hydrolyze
hypnotise > hypnotize
hypnotize

I
ideologue
imperil +ed, +ing
imperil +led, +ling > imperil +ed, +ing
industrialise > industrialize
industrialize
inquire (+d, [e]+ing. +s)
inquiry ([y]+ies)
initial +ed, +ing
initial +led, +ling > initial +ed, +ing
install (+ment, +s)
instal(+ment, +s) > install (+ment, +s)
instill (+s)
instil (+s) > instill (+s)
institutionalise > institutionalize
institutionalize
-isation > -ization
-ise > -ize
-ised > -ized
-iser > -izer
-ises > -izes
-ising > -izing
-ization
-ize
-ized
-izer
-izes
-izing

J
jail +ed, +er, +ing, +or, +s
jeopardise (+ed, +ing, +s)
     > jeopardize (+ed, +ing, +s)
jeopardize (+ed, +ing, +s)
jewel +ed, +er, +ing, +ry
jewel +led, +ler, +lery, +ling
     > jewel +ed, +er, +ry, +ing
judgement (+al, +s) > judgment (+al, +s)
judgment (+al, +s)

K
karat
kerb (+s) > curb (+s)
kidnaped
kidnapped > kidnaped
kilometer (+s)
kilometre (+s) > kilometer (+s)

L
labor (+ed, +ing, +s)
laborious
labour (+ed, +ing, +s) > labor (+ed, +ing, +s)
leukaemia > leukemia
leukemia
level +ed, +ing
level +led, +ling > level +ed, +ing
libel +ed, +ing, +ous
libel +led, +ling, +lous > libel +ed, +ing, +ous
licence (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
     > license (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
license (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
licorice
likable
likeable > likable
liquorice > licorice
liter
litre > liter
livable
liveable > livable
localise (+ed, +ing, +s)
     > localize (+ed, +ing, +s)
localize (+ed, +ing, +s)
lodgement (+s) > lodgment (+s)
lodgment (+s)
louver (+s)
louvre (+s) > louver (+s)
lovable
loveable > lovable
lucre
luster
lustre > luster

M
macabre
marshal +ed, +ing
marshal +led, +ling >marshal +ed, +ing
marvel +ed, +ing, +ous
marvel +led, +ling, +lous
     > marvel +ed, +ing, +ous
massacre
maneuver
manoeuvre > maneuver
materialise > materialize
materialize
maximise > maximize
maximize
meager
magre > meager
mechanise > mechanize
mechanize
mediaeval > medieval
medieval
mediocre
to merchandise > to merchandize
to merchandize
mesmerise > mesmerize
mesmerize
meter (+ed, +ing, +s)
metre (+s) > meter (+s)
milage
mileage > milage
millimeter
millimetre > millimeter
minimise > minimize
minimize
misbehavior
misbehaviour > misbehavior
misdemeanor (+s)
misdemeanour (+s) > misdemeanor (+s)
miter (+s)
mitre (+s) > miter (+s)
mobilise > mobilize
mobilize
modernise > modernize
modernize
mold (+ed, +er, +ing, +s, +y)
mollusc (+s) > mollusk (+s)
mollusk (+s)
monolog (+s)
monologue (+s) > monolog (+s)
molt (+ed, +ing, +s)
mortice (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
     > mortise (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
mortise (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
mould (+ed, +er, +ing, +s, +y)
     > mold (+ed, +er, +ing, +s, +y)
moult (+ed, +ing, +s) > molt (+ed, +ing, +s)
moustache (+s) > mustache (+s)
mustache (+s)

N
nationalise > nationalize
nationalize
naturalise > naturalize
naturalize
naught
neighbor (+hood, +ing, +s)
neighbour (+hood, +ing, +s)
     > neighbor (+hood, +ing, +s)
neutralise > neutralize
neutralize
nought > naught
noviciate (+s) > novitiate (+s)
novitiate (+s)

O
ocher
ochre > ocher
odor (+ous, +s)
odour (+ous, +s) > odor (+ous, +s)
oedema > edema
oeuvre
oestrogren > estrogen
offence (+s) > offense (+s)
offense (+s)
ogre (+s)
omelet (+s)
omelette (+s) > omelet (+s)
organise > organize
organise
-or
-oration
-ored
-orer
-oring
-ors
orthopaedic (+s) > orthopedic (+s)
orthopedic (+s)
-our > -or
-ouration > -oration
-oured > -ored
-ourer > -orer
-ouring > -oring
-ours > -ors

P
padre (+s)
paediatric (+ian, +s) > pediatric (+ian, +s)
pajamas
palaeo +lithic, +logy > paleo +lithic, +logy
paleo +lithic, +logy
panel +ed, +ing
panel +led, +ling > panel +ed, +ing
parcel +ed, +ing
parcel +led, +ling > parcel +ed, +ing
parlor (+s)
parlour (+s) > parlor (+s)
partisan > partizan
partizan
pedagog (+s)
pedagogue (+s) > pedagog (+s)
pedal +ed, +ing
pedal +led, +ling > pedal +ed, +ing
peddler (+s)
pediatric (+s)
pedlar (+s) > peddler (+s)
penalise > penalize
penalize
pencil +ed, +ing
pencil +led, +ling > pencil +ed, +ing
philter
philtre > philter
phoney (+s) > phony ([y]+ies)
phony ([y]+ier, [y]+ies, [y]+iest)
plough (+ed, +ing, +s) > plow (+ed, +ing, +s)
plow (+ed, +ing, +s)
polarise > polarize
polarize
practice (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
     > practise (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
practise (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
pressurise > pressurize
pressurize
pretence (+s) > pretense (+s)
pretense (+s)
program (+ed, +ing, +s)
programme (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
     > program (+ed, +ing, +s)
prolog (+s)
prologue (+s) > prolog (+s)
prophecy ([y]+ies) > prophesy ([y]+ies)
prophesy ([y]+ied, +ing, [y]+ies)
publicise > publicize
publicize
pummel +ed, +ing
pummel +led, +ling > pummel +ed, +ing
pyjamas > pajamas

Q
quarrel +ed, +ing quarrel +led, +ling > quarrel +ed, +ing

R
raccoon (+s) > racoon (+s)
racoon (+s)
rancor (+ous)
rancour > rancor
rase > raze
ratable
rateable > ratable
ravel +ed, +ing
ravel +led, +ling > ravel +ed, +ing
raze
rationalise > rationalize
rationalize
realise > realize
realize
recognise > recognize
recognize
reconnoiter
reconnoitre > reconnoiter
revel +ed, +er, +ing
revel +led, +ler, +ling > revel +ed, +er, +ing
revolutionise > revolutionize
revolutionize
rigor (+ous, +s)
rigour (+ous, +s) > rigor (+ous, +s)
rival +ed, +ing
rival +led, +ling > rival +ed, +ing
rumor (+ed, +s)
rumour (+ed, +s) > rumor (+ed, +s)

S
saber (+s)
sabre (+s) > saber (+s)
salable
saleable > salable
saltpeter
saltpetre > saltpeter
savior (+s)
saviour (+s) > savior (+s)
savor (+ed, +ing, +s)
savour (+ed, +ing, +s) > savor (+ed, +ing, +s)
scalawag (+s) > scallywag (+s)
scallywag (+s)
sceptic (+s) > skeptic (+s)
scepter (+s)
sceptre (+s) > septer (+s)
scrutinise > scrutinize
scrutinize
sepulcher
sepulchre > sepulcher
shovel +ed, +ing
shovel +led, +ling > shovel +ed, +ing
signal +ed, +er, +ing
signal +led, +ler, +ling > signal +ed, +er, +ing
sizable
sizeable > sizable
skeptic (+s)
skillful
skilful > skillful
smolder (+ed, +ing, +s)
smoulder (+ed, +ing, +s)
     >smolder (+ed, +ing, +s)
snivel +ed, +ing
snivel +led, +ling > snivel +ed, +ing
somber
sombre > somber
specialise > specialize
specialize
specter
spectre > specter
spiral +ed, +ing
spiral +led, +ling > spiral +ed, +ing
splendor (+s)
splendour (+s) > splendor (+s)
stencil +ed, +ing
stencil +led, +ling > stencil +ed, +ing
storey (+ed, +s) > story ([y]+ied, [y]+ies)
story ([y]+ied, [y]+ies)
subsidise > subsidize
subsidize
succor (+ed, +ing, +s)
succour (+ed, +ing, +s)> succor (+ed, +ing, +s)
sulfate (+s)
sulfide (+s)
sulfur (+ic, +ous)
sulphate (+s) > sulfate (+s)
sulphide (+s) > sulfide (+s)
sulphur (+ic, +ous) > sulfur (+ic, +ous)
summarise > summarize
summarize
symbolise > symbolize
symbolize
sympathise > sympathize
sympathize
synagog (+s)
synagogue (+s) > synagog (+s)

T
theater
theatre > theater
tho
thoro
though > tho
thorough > thoro
through > thru
thru
timbre
tire (+d, [e]+ing, +s)
titer
titre > titer
total +ed, +ing
total +led, +ling > total +ed, +ing
toweling
towelling > toweling
transferal (+s) > transferral (+s)
transferral (+s)
travel +ed, +er, +ing
travel +led, +ler, +ling > travel +ed, +er, +ing
trial (+ed, +ing)
trial (+led, +ling) > trial +ed, +ing
tumor (+s)
tumour (+s) > tumor (+s)
tunnel +ed, +er, +ing
tunnel +led, +ler, +ling > tunnel +ed, +er, +ing
tyre (+s) > tire (+s)

U
unnamable
unnameable > unnamable
unravel +ed, +ing
unravel +led, +ling > unravel +ed, +ing
unshakable
unshakeable > unshakable
untrammeled
untrammelled > untrammeled
usable
useable > usable
utilise > utilize
utilize

V
valor (+ize, +ous)
valour (+ise, +ous) > valor (+ize, +ous)
vapor (+s)
vaporise > vaporize
vaporize
vapour (+s) > vapor (+s)
vigor (+ous)
vigour > vigor (+ous)
vice (+s)
vise (+s) > vice (+s)
visualise > visualize
visualize

W
waggon (+er, +s) > wagon (+er, +s)
wagon (+er, +s)
whir (+s)
whirr (+s) > whir (+s)
whiskey (+s) > whisky (+s)
whisky
willful
wilful > willful
woolen
woollen > woolen
worshiped
worshipped > worshiped

X

Y
yodel +ed, +ing yodel +led, +ling > yodel +ed, +ing

Z

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