Canadian and American Spelling: Your Guide from A to G

Language & Editing

 

Vive la Différence!

We all know that there's a difference between Canadian and American spelling,* and many of us have a basic grasp of the patterns, such as "-our/-or," "-re/er," or "-yse/yze." But certainty usually ends somewhere around here, and unless you consult a dictionary, you may end up making rather haphazard spelling choices. "Does that look right? Um ... I think so ... Yeah, whatever."

 

To save you the trouble of keeping a dictionary close at hand every time you put pen to paper (or, more likely, fingers to keyboard), we've decided to list frequently confused word spellings in a chart, using the Canadian Oxford Dictionary for Canadian spelling and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary for American spelling. This week, we'll cover words that begin with A to G. You'll no doubt be relieved to see that some words are spelled the same in both systems!

 

*See also the following blogs:

Karen Kemlo, "American versus Canadian Spelling: It All Started with Noah" (April 21, 2014)

Kaci Schmitt, "An American Editor in the Land of the Canadian Oxford" (March 25, 2015) 

CANADIAN

AMERICAN

abridgement

abridgment

acknowledgement

acknowledgment

aesthetic

aesthetic

aging

aging

analyze

analyze

anaesthesia

anesthesia

anemia

anemia

appendices

appendixes

arbour

arbor

archaeology

archaeology

ardour

ardor

armour

armor

axe

ax

balk

balk

behaviour

behavior

benefited

benefited

biased

biased

billeted

billeted

budgeted

budgeted

bureaus

bureaus

candour

candor

catalogue

catalog

catalyze

catalyze

centre

center

châteaus

châteaux

check (verify)

check (verify)

cheque (bank draft)

check (bank draft)

clamour

clamor

colour

color

colouration

coloration

colourful

colorful

colourize

colorize

colourist

colorist

combatting

combating

defence

defense

defensible

defensible

defensive

defensive

demeanour

demeanor

dialyze

dialyze

draft (draw up)

draft (draw up)

draft (wind, gulp)

draft (wind, gulp)

encyclopedia

encyclopedia

endeavour

endeavor

enrolment

enrollment

favour

favor

favourable

favorable

favourite

favorite

fervour

fervor

fibre

fiber

flyer (pilot)

flier (pilot)

flyer (pamphlet)

flyer (pamphlet)

forestall

forestall

forestalment

forestallment

fulfill

fulfill

fulfillment

fulfillment

genre

genre

glamour

glamour

glamorize

glamorize

glamorous

glamorous

grey

gray