Favorite Vs. Favourite Spelling: What’s the Difference?

Favorite or Favourite spelling varies according to location. Some terms…

Favorite or Favourite spelling varies according to location. Some terms spell differently between American and British writers, even though they imply the same thing. 

It’s common for these spelling discrepancies to be caused by a lack of editorial uniformity. These norms can and do change as languages progress.

Every time you read something in the US or the UK, you’ll notice the different spellings used. For example, the word “favorite” could appear in an article in The Wall Street Journal or The Economist.

There are numerous instances when British and American spellings diverge. British English has a tendency to retain the spelling of terms it has borrowed from other languages (such as French). American English has changed its spelling to reflect how the words actually sound when they are pronounced.

When writing for British audiences, only British spellings should be used. In a couple of instances, the popular American spellings are also acceptable in British English, particularly the -ize/-ization ends.

However, choosing between these two options when you use the word is up to you as an author. In general, neither is wrong, but there are some cases where favorite is better than favorite. In this case, as in so many others, it boils down to whom you’re writing for.

So, what’s the proper way to write “favourite”? Let’s find out what’s going on.

 in the English language,
 Favorite vs Favourite: What’s the Difference?

The Origin: Favorite and Favourite

Like many other terms in the English language, “favorite” and “favorite” have a long and exciting history. 

While “honor” is spelled with an ending that includes the letter “-or,” the word is spelled “honour” in British English. Several other examples of the words exist such as flavor, color, rumor, etc., all of which are spelled in the same way. 

Britain had no agreement on how to spell words ending in ‘-or’ or ‘-our’ for a long time. According to Samuel Johnson’s famous 1755 lexicon, the British lexicographer preferred the -our forms of terms. 

Similarly, an American lexicographer, Noah Webster, attempted to make the English language spoken in the United States more ‘Americanized.’ 

His 1828 dictionary stated that the disputed words should be spelled with the -or ending. To this day, Webster continues to be credited with having a significant impact on American English usage.

Favorite Vs Favourite Spelling- How to Spell

The United States and the United Kingdom are sometimes described as two countries divided by a shared language. 

English is the most widely spoken language in the United States and the United Kingdom. However, a distinction is frequently made between American English and British English. 

In general, the distinctions between the two kinds of English are modest, but they do exist, particularly in spelling.

Depending on whether you employ American or British spelling standards, both favorite and favourite are acceptable spellings. 

In American English, the term favorite is preferred, but in British English, the term favourite is preferred. Sometimes, either favourite or favorite can be used; the exact form depends on the style manual you use.

Pronunciation of Favourite and Favorite

It’s easy to decide between favorite and favorite:

  • Just think about who you’re writing for.
  • Choose favorite if you are an American reader.
  • If you’re British, choose favourite.

Both “favorite” and “favourite” are correct spellings, have the same meaning, and are pronounced identically (FAY-vuh-rit or FAY-vit).

Trick to Remember: Since the word “favourite” has an extra “U,” like “United Kingdom,” you can easily recall how to differentiate them now.

How to Use the Word “Favorite” in a Sentence

Favourite As an Adjective

As an adjective, favourite describes a noun chosen by a person or entity over other nouns of its sort.

For example, Black is Daniel’s favorite colour.

Favourite As a Noun

Favorite, as a noun, refers to a person or item that is well-liked and desired over the rest of its sort.

For example, My favorite instructor is Mr. Godwin.

Favorite as a noun sometimes refers to the most likely winner of a game or competition on whom people place wagers.

For example, The Junaid team from the Bahamas is the clear favorite.

Favourite As a Verb

Favorites list the websites that the user visits or bookmarks most frequently. As a verb, “favorite” means to mark the address of a website or other digital data to get faster access in the future.

For example, I’ve favorited Facebook because I use it frequently.

To Wrap Up

As we have seen, favourite spelling differs from favorite in both the spelling and pronunciation of the word. However, the terms mean the same thing. Always remember, favourite spelling is just a matter of preference.

Frequently asked questions

Is Most Favorite correct grammar?

You shouldn’t use’most favorite’ in your own speech. Used to be fine. Favorite is a Romanized variant of ‘favored’ or ‘favoured’. As an example, it should be able to describe comparative levels of favor.

Why do Americans spell it favorite?

The English-speaking world had adopted forms such as favorite and favorite for years. Those variations have become widely understood as regional variations due largely to two dictionary makers: Samuel Johnson and Noah Webster.

How do Canadians spell poop?

American (US)British (UK)Canadian
fecesfaeces *feces
gray *greygrey
honor *honourhonour
ionizeionise *ionize

Why is Favourite spelled two different ways?

I believe that love and favorite are both correct spellings, depending on the spelling standard you use in America or Britain. American English prefers favorites, while British English prefer favorites. You can sometimes use favorite or favorite forms and the correct form is chosen based on the style guide you follow.

What words do the British spell differently?


Is British or American English correct?

English in British and American languages are correct where it is spoken, and Australian and British languages are both correct in those areas. While it might not seem cleaner or neat to have so many ‘correct’ versions of a language, that’s the way it is.

Is it gray or GREY in the US?

These two spellings of black and white are common. Gray is more common in American English, while grey is more prevalent in British English.

What are different ways to say favorite?

  • dear,
  • fond,
  • darling,
  • cherished,
  • loved,
  • favored,
  • beloved,
  • fair-haired,

Which one is correct color or colour?

Make sure you remember that both spellings are correct when choosing between color and color. Color is the most common spelling in the United States. English-speaking worlds use a longer form called color.

Why is British spelling different?

British English retains the spelling of words it has absorbed from other languages, including French and German. Although American English spellings mostly depend on how the word sounds when spoken.

Is it correct to say my Favourite person?

It’s more appropriate to say “Happy birthday to my favourite people,” as the word “people” is the most commonly used plural of the word person. This is the spelling of “favourite” in British English. American English would say “favorite” here.

Which animal or what animal is correct?

Actually, you could use both, but “which” is much more accurate than “what.” If you wanted to use “what,” it would be better to say, “How would you describe your favorite animal?””.

How do you say favorite in British English?

How is Favourite spelled in Canada?

Neither ‘favorite’ nor ‘friend’ are given the same meaning, but ‘Favourite’ is used in British English, Australian English, New Zealand English, and Canadian English, whereas ‘.

Which is your Favourite or what is your Favourite?

We use “”which of these is your favorite” to ask “which is your favourite”, while “what is your favorites” can include any and all games, including games the questioner has never even heard of. The distinction is important, because “which” can easily be used in “loaded questions”.

Favorite Vs. Favourite Spelling: What’s the Difference?

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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