British Spellings Quiz

Based on the American spelling, guess the British spellings of these words.
Some of these are pronounced differently
Read me => Sometimes these words can be spelled the same in Britain. Guess the DIFFERENT spelling which is not used in the U.S.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: January 28, 2022
First submittedApril 10, 2012
Times taken84,061
Average score70.0%
Rating3.99
4:00
Enter British spelling here:
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US Spelling
British Spelling
Analyze
Analyse
Airplane
Aeroplane
Aluminum
Aluminium
Mustache
Moustache
Tidbit
Titbit
Traveler
Traveller
Aging
Ageing
Likable
Likeable
Defense
Defence
Check
Cheque
US Spelling
British Spelling
Chili
Chilli
Gray
Grey
Mold
Mould
Plow
Plough
Story
Storey
Tire
Tyre
Curb
Kerb
Color
Colour
Racket
Racquet
Estrogen
Oestrogen
US Spelling
British Spelling
Eon
Aeon
Pediatric
Paediatric
Pajamas
Pyjamas
Realize
Realise
Maneuver
Manoeuvre
Center
Centre
Meter
Metre
Program
Programme
Catalog
Catalogue
Behoove
Behove
+7
Level 44
Apr 10, 2012
I like the American versions better, mostly. Eliminates unnecessary vowels. I prefer "centre" to "center" though.
+13
Level 83
Jan 21, 2013
The American versions are better, but Mr. Webster really didn't go far enough. He fixed some words while leaving others with their errors. While we're on the subject, we could eliminate some letters from the language completely and never miss them. There's no reason for a letter "c" when we've got "k" and "s" and "tsh," and no reason for "x" when we've got "ks." Further, just to help illustrate how screwed up English spelling still is (even in the improved American version of the language), I remember my phonetics professor writing the word "ghoti" on the board and telling us it was "fish." He explained that it was the "gh" from "enough," the "o" from "women," and the "ti" from "nation."
+2
Level 44
Apr 17, 2013
i agree with the unnecessary letters, and you can add 'q' to that list. Though I think the language would benefit by creating new letters to make the 'sh' and 'ch' sounds, like russian has.
+13
Level 75
Oct 25, 2013
American versions are better? Really? Kalbahamut, I give you: 'sox'. Quod erat demonstrandum et ego requiem meam.
+10
Level 75
Dec 3, 2013
It's more like an irrational hatred of anyone who doesn't believe exactly what he believes. Just do enough of these quizzes and read enough comments...you'll see. I've never seen so many comments start with "You are wrong..." in my life.
+15
Level 74
May 8, 2014
"American versions are better"... yet Americans persist with using extra syllables when they're not required. Examples: Transportation (transport), anesthesiologist (anaesthetist), councilman/woman (councillor), tunafish (tuna), horseback (horse).

And don't get me started on some of the other illogical American phrases such as "I could care less", "let's don't", "a long ways"

+5
Level 42
Nov 14, 2014
Actually grantdon, we do use "tuna" and "councillor", but I'm not sure how often you work horseback riding into your everyday conversation. Most people will say "I ride horses" or "I'm an equestrian". In terms of "transportation", have you ever heard and American say "transport"? It doesn't sound right. It sound harsh. Our accent and cadence demands the extra syllables. Language isn't as simple as extra syllables and vowels. I wouldn't say that the British have anything wrong--it works for their cadence, inflections, and rhythm, just as saying "anesthesiologist" works better for the American accent.
+5
Level 83
Nov 14, 2014
Gaston: you are wrong. I'm very rational.

buck: what ever are you talking about?

grantdon: as soon as you stop adding extraneous syllables to words like "aluminum" then we'll talk. I'm happy to split the difference. and "I could care less" isn't an American phrase it's just an incorrect one.

+5
Level 36
Nov 15, 2014
Bit biased, don't you think? Do you even know much about the British spelling? From what you've written, I assume you don't, Kalbahamut
+4
Level 83
Mar 30, 2017
giraffe, viking, this is my play at humor (or humour). I am adopting the same pretentious and condescending certainty and matter-of-fact way of speaking that Brits have when they assert that their dialect is superior. My true feelings on the matter are closer to what giraffe said above. Though I do honestly feel the British spellings are ridiculous and that English spelling could stand to be cleaned up more.
+4
Level 87
Oct 22, 2019
I wish we'd started off with Spanish or some other roots so we wouldn't have to listen to English people on the internet.
+3
Level 71
Mar 27, 2022
No, then you'd have to listen to Spanish people on the Internet. A lot of people get snooty about their language, especially when their version is the correct one.

I learned Castilian Spanish, and it's jarring to hear someone from Latin America. It happens.

+2
Level 58
Mar 27, 2022
i mean that is just generalising you can't just assume all british people have that attitude just because of some bad experiences and perhaps your own bias comes into play
+2
Level 70
Mar 29, 2022
It’s the infernal nature of it that makes it interesting. If you think that simplification and efficiency is better, that’s great. We just prefer a little character and richness in things. And if it confounds the French, then that’s an added bonus! Although, in terms of unnecessary letters and bizarre pronunciation, we’re nowhere near as bad as the Welsh…
+4
Level 37
Apr 11, 2012
I'm American and I've always spelled [or spelt? :)] it "moustache", "traveller", and "likeable". *shrugs*
+26
Level 18
Apr 14, 2012
I hate American spellings. Especially when you start to see children using them because of all the American programmes and films!
+7
Level 83
Jan 21, 2013
Language is dynamic. Might as well accept it now or your life will be full of frustration. I can guarantee that the changes aren't going to go the other direction.
+1
Level 83
Nov 14, 2014
There must be a different definition for logic in British English that you are using.
+1
Level 83
Nov 14, 2014
Though learning Chinese is probably not a bad idea.
+3
Level 83
Mar 30, 2017
Unless someone burns all copies of the OED we're not really losing anything and trying to squeeze the entire etymology of a word into its spelling seems unnecessarily burdensome to me. Also, in English, there are just as many cases where some odd spelling was arrived at arbitrarily as there are cases where it is the result of loan words from Greek or Latin or French or something else.
+2
Level 83
Oct 22, 2019
I miss Drunken Gandalf. We had an exchange here where he was arguing that nonsensical spellings of words helped preserve the history of language and etymology. Though he often made terrible arguments I enjoyed bantering with him all the same...
+5
Level 46
Mar 26, 2020
I see you everywhere in the comment sections of quizzes, I commented for the first time to say this
+1
Level 65
Mar 28, 2022
People are allowed to like things a certain way.
+3
Level 87
Mar 9, 2020
Then stop using French spellings like programme and go back to pre-1800s legitimate English spellings.
+1
Level 71
May 21, 2012
Surprised that I got 20/30. The only one that I ever used was "grey", I never call it "gray".
+1
Level 20
Jun 16, 2012
This was always going to generate a lot of interest, maybe someone should do a quiz that points out the similarities.

Also I'm an aussie and i have no idea how to spell the British, English or US way...tbh it's prob cause i just cant spell good =9 (or french which some of these seem to be)

+1
Level 10
Jun 24, 2012
i never knew that americans have such a variation on our language, some of the american spellings i had never seen before :P
+7
Level 22
Jul 4, 2012
aeon means a long time.

behove is better explained in context.

So,

"it ill behoves you to criticise me when you spent an aeon in the toilet doing your make-up"

could be translated as :

"You've got a nerve to bitch at me when you spent flamin' ages in the bog putting on your slap"

I hope that helps

+1
Level 37
Oct 11, 2018
To AleckrulesOK: Hilarious! (LMAO)
+1
Level 18
Jul 9, 2012
I use the british spellings for like, 15 of the words lol. I always thought that's how they were spelled in the US. :)
+4
Level 23
Apr 10, 2013
You need to make the words easier to understand, because we say story, as in a tale, story book, and also, with check, i had no idea it was Cheque. other than a few minor errors, very good quiz. :)
+4
Level 68
Jan 9, 2019
Same for 'meter' and 'metre', which are two different things, and therefore both valid.
+1
Level 44
Apr 30, 2013
Glad I'm not the only American that spells like a Brit. :)
+2
Level 15
May 6, 2013
I don't know if its just me, but I'm British and I don't spell 'story' as 'storey' I get annoyed if anyone spells it like that :/
+1
Level 20
Nov 28, 2014
same
+14
Level 54
Feb 18, 2021
It is a storey as in a floor if you did not realise.
+4
Level 32
Dec 26, 2021
In the U.K. "story" is a word referring to a tale eg "storybook" but "storey" (as mentioned in the quiz) is a floor in a building, eg "the third storey"

:]

+4
Level 67
Jan 29, 2022
As others have said, we spell a story like a tale as ‘story’ but if it’s a multi-storey building it’s ‘storey’.
+2
Level 25
May 19, 2013
I'm British and I've always used curb (probably because I watch curb your enthusiasm)
+10
Level 44
Jun 4, 2015
Kerb is right for the edge of a pavement.
+9
Level 68
Sep 12, 2020
Curb is the verb, kerb is the noun.
+1
Level 28
Jun 3, 2013
I use a mix of both and live in the UK
+1
Level 21
Sep 4, 2013
Sincee when have we said storey...
+14
Level 76
Nov 28, 2014
Ever since we've been constructing multi-storey buildings!
+10
Level 16
Oct 30, 2013
...aand Australia is a combination of the two
+3
Level 39
May 19, 2015
+1

True-blue aussie tween reading dumb arguments between brits and americans stop fighting, guys and gals!

G'Day, mate!

+3
Level 33
Mar 28, 2018
Same for Canada
+1
Level 44
Mar 28, 2022
Ireland I guess is a mix. If i saw someone write Check instead of Cheque I wouldn't bat an eye. I would only use two of the words above though, curb and chili.
+14
Level 53
Mar 24, 2014
should be called 'correct spellings quiz'
+5
Level 83
Nov 14, 2014
I'm not sure if I want to take spelling advice from someone who doesn't know what capitalization or punctuation are.
+19
Level 59
Jun 6, 2018
*capitalisation
+4
Level 57
Mar 27, 2022
I’m not sure I want*; the “if” serves absolutely no purpose in that sentence.
+2
Level 87
Jun 18, 2018
Correct if you decided in the 1800s to make English and Latin based words more French looking than they were originally. Not sure why the "correct" way was to become more like the French after the fact.
+3
Level 44
Apr 13, 2014
I have been spelling it manoeuvre for the better part of a few years, and I still forgot how to spell it when it came time for this quiz.
+8
Level 45
May 3, 2014
You Yanks ruined the English language!!

If ever we used any of your spellings in our schoolwork, we got told off as it is not Standard English! The English language is a beautiful thing that does not need to be 'dumbed down' or simplified. The spellings of the words above really offend my eyes.

+10
Level 83
Nov 14, 2014
The English language is a mongrel language with holdovers from different Angle dialects, French, German, Saxon, Dutch, Danish, Latin, Greek etc. It's a mess.
+3
Level 35
Apr 26, 2018
Haha but isn't every language? And Angle dialects? There was only one tribe of Angles, and they weren't that big. Perhaps you mean Angle/Saxon/Jutic dialects?

Sorry to be pedantic...

+2
Level 71
Aug 29, 2015
The English language is not a mess, it is because of its ability to absorb words from different languages and to have straightforward common sense meanings that have given it the ability to be used by all the world as a universal language. You don't have to speak it perfectly to be understood as is proved by the great numbers of non-English speaking people using this quiz.
+1
Level 70
Mar 29, 2022
The Americans obviously haven’t heard of the Normans…
+3
Level 87
Jun 18, 2018
Nope, a lot of the French -our and -re were added in the 1800s for some reason. A lot of Latin words were suddenly Frenchified. The Americans kept trucking with the actual English spellings.
+2
Level 87
Mar 27, 2022
I mean English was kind of already ruined. Even today, there are millions of misspellings across the Internet.
+1
Level 55
Mar 28, 2022
Spelling wasn't even standardized until the 19th century...by Americans.
+2
Level 46
Aug 27, 2014
I'm British and spell all of these words the British way - but it does seem to me that we have made it very difficult for ourselves, the American spellings are much more phonetic than ours...
+1
Level 67
Oct 22, 2019
English is a mess when it comes to spelling/pronunciation - even this very word is "pronansiachon" one of the very few difficulties of learning alongside its absurd use of phrasal verbs that make no sense as well as prepositions like on, in, at etc which also make no sense most of the time.
+2
Level 59
Nov 14, 2014
I don't know if showing the more complicated British spellings was the point of this quiz, but seriously, mate. Either way, in my opinion, English speakers should make a few simplifications for foreigners if they want to keep their language The Global Language. While Brits and Americans (and others such as Scots and Aussies) are fighting, Chinese is stepping up. At least Mandarin has only one official variety.
+3
Level 83
Nov 14, 2014
I thought there were multiple written versions of Mandarin, and even the "simplified" Mandarin is still mind-bogglingly complex. Though I agree written English is overdue for an overhaul. It should be replaced by some sort of International Stark, like in Ender's Game. At the very least clean up the spelling and alphabet. After that a simplified grammar would be helpful, too.
+3
Level 50
Jul 25, 2018
Making English a uniform language would mean destroying all the different versions of it across the world, including the regional ones within countries. This would be a great pity and will never happen because people like speaking it their own way.
+1
Level 83
Jan 9, 2019
I bet you're wrong. The world is growing smaller all the time.
+7
Level 34
Oct 22, 2019
I live in southwest Scotland. I ken there is nae chance of a standardised grammar. If you think it is possible then your a glaikid balm.
+1
Level 71
Jan 28, 2022
Do you think we are going to believe that you go around talking like that at your local pub etc?
+1
Level 70
Mar 29, 2022
You are of course welcome to strike up a conversation in a Glasgow boozer and find out for yourself how very real it is.
+2
Level 61
Jul 4, 2015
Scots are Brits.
+1
Level 45
Nov 14, 2014
These are the spellings of the English language. American English teachers really need to shape up, they do a shoddy job at teaching the Queen's.
+1
Level 70
Nov 14, 2014
Don't forget things like orient / orientate (the verb) and preventive / preventative.
+1
Level 59
Nov 14, 2014
Some of these might need some context
+6
Level 67
Nov 14, 2014
This quiz just makes me feel so angry at Americans
+1
Level 30
Dec 1, 2015
Cry cry. Don't talk to us if you don't like it! lol
+1
Level 58
Jan 7, 2017
Don't worry, we don't
+5
Level 28
Jan 24, 2017
We just don't see the need for our spellings to be so French
+1
Level 63
Nov 14, 2014
Might I point out we spell 'story' the same way that you do?
+3
Level 77
Jan 2, 2017
I'm American and I was taught that storey is a section of a building, and story is what I tell my grandkids to bore them to death. Have those meanings changed?
+3
Level 67
Nov 14, 2014
Aluminium is a weird one, mostly because it's American's who break from the international standard and insist on a variant. Not that all the others are variants, it's just there's not an international standard like IUPAC.
+1
Level 77
Jan 2, 2017
Personally I would prefer if we changed to aluminium. It's much easier to pronounce than aluminuminum.
+2
Level 39
Feb 22, 2017
America actually tried to change Aluminium to Alumina (Which is basically Aluminium Oxide -_-) and they threw a strop because Britain said no to the change so they insisted that they should change Sulphur to Sulfur... Every British chemist was FURIOUS.
+1
Level 54
Mar 10, 2017
Then again, America has never been one to follow British standards, eh?
+4
Level 33
Nov 14, 2014
Hahahahahaha...TITbit. (I'm not 12, but my inner 12 year old came out when I saw that).
+1
Level 20
Nov 14, 2014
100% with 55 seconds left!
+3
Level 36
Nov 15, 2014
I didn't even recognise half of them. I'm so used to the British spelling that I had no idea what the definition of the words were. Like Check
+1
Level 60
Mar 30, 2017
Same
+1
Level 21
Nov 15, 2014
Us Canadians spell this way as well.
+1
Level 21
Nov 15, 2014
Well, most of them.

We definitely don't say aeroplane.

+1
Level 68
Mar 30, 2017
Or tyre.
+1
Level 73
Mar 30, 2017
We Canadians spell this way as well.
+1
Level 85
Jan 29, 2022
No ya don't, eh? Have you ever "analysed" anything? No.
+5
Level 50
Nov 15, 2014
I'd invite anyone who thinks either British or American English is "more pure" to undergo a reality check. Written English has only had standardised spellings since the production of the first dictionary, so the debate about correct versus incorrect is really just "I like this one more, so it must be better."
+2
Level 61
Mar 30, 2017
Except, you've proved your own argument wrong. The first English dictionary was published 1604. There's a 172 year gap between English Dictionaries and American independence. So, yes British English is, as you put it, more pure.
+8
Level 72
Jan 27, 2019
Oh, you mean this dictionary? Robert Cawdrey's A Table Alphabeticall, contayning and teaching the true writing and vnderstanding of hard vsuall English words, borrowed from the Hebrew, Greeke, Latine, or French &c, in which are spellings such as ballance (balance), eccho (echo), franticke (frantic), ieopardie (jeopardy), maniacque (maniac), and ouall (oval), and includes US spellings like naturalize, solemnize, tyrannize, and vapor?
+1
Level 32
Nov 17, 2014
Maybe American english has just been made easier due to a low percentage of the population that actually speak English. (A higher percentage of the Dutch population speak English than that of the USA)
+1
Level 45
Mar 30, 2017
it was the british settlers who devised these spellings.
+6
Level 56
Nov 19, 2014
Clues should read "Meter (length)", "Check (bank account)", "Racket (sports)", "Curb (roadside)". In British a meter is a measuring device, like for how much electricity you've used, a racket can be a criminal enterprise or a loud noise, curb is the verb meaning to restrict or curtail and check has all sorts of other meanings on both sides of the Atlantic.
+2
Level 56
Nov 19, 2014
I didn't even realise (ha!) until reading the comments that people have thought that the question implies "story" means all forms of the word are spelt with the 'e'. And I didn't even think of the connotation of "to tire"! So, to my list add "story (floor of building)" and "tire (car part)".

I'm a proud British speller, but I do not align myself with any concept of British spelling being superior or even older than American spellings. I once read a stupid British author who singled out "gotten" as a "tedious Americanism". No doubt there are many barbarisms that America has imposed on the glorious English language, but "gotten" is not one of them. Apparently that author has forGOTTEN, not only that word but gotten's appearance in the King James Bible, right there at the start of Genesis (Eve: "I have gotten a man from the Lord"). And in any case it's a beautiful word, a real "cellar door" as Tolkien once said.

+1
Level 31
Nov 25, 2014
I never knew "gotten" was a word! In elementary school they would get mad when we used it, which I found weird because my British aunt would use it.
+1
Level 67
Jan 9, 2017
When I was at primary school, the word "got" was banned from any story we wrote. We had to use an alternative like "receive" or "became". The teacher was very good at expanding our vocabulary. And I still cringe when people use the word "got" even today!
+2
Level 77
Mar 29, 2017
You've got to be kidding. I gotta think about that one. Gotcha! :)
+1
Level 55
Mar 27, 2022
Your use of 'gotten' from the Bible is an abbreviation of 'begotten'.
+5
Level 41
Nov 28, 2014
People are ridiculous. All spellings are made up, so who cares which one you think is "better"?
+1
Level 81
Nov 28, 2014
In decades of reading and teaching in the UK, I can't recall seeing 'aeon' used, even though it might be grammatically correct. 'Eon', however, is relatively common.
+3
Level 65
Mar 29, 2016
Eon really isn't most common in the UK. I guess it depends what schools you were teaching at.
+2
Level 75
Nov 28, 2014
As someone who was brought up in a British spelling environment, I think the spelling that Americans use is generally more phonetic and would make a better spelling standard for the language we call "English". The only exception would the American usage of 'Aluminum' which is just plain odd, since there is a scientifically internationally accepted standard there and that's Aluminium. Americans don't say Sodum, Lithum, Cadmum, or Strontum - so would American spellers latch on to an irregular spelling for just that one word?
+2
Level 79
Apr 1, 2017
we don't pronounce it Al-Loo-Min-E-Um. Its just A-Loo-Mi-Num
+3
Level 76
Jan 30, 2022
You may have missed the point entirely
+1
Level 67
Nov 28, 2014
storey and kerb look so ugly ew
+4
Level 67
Jan 9, 2017
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
+3
Level 30
Jun 9, 2017
storey as in second floor

we spell a piece of fiction a story

+1
Level 72
Jan 27, 2019
Sure, and in the US we would call the second floor a story as well.
+1
Level 76
Jan 29, 2022
Well this would be a story because as there is no Ground Floor in the US then your second story should be your first
+3
Level 50
Nov 28, 2014
Check before you cash your cheque. British use both spellings, both have different meanings.
+6
Level 37
Apr 1, 2017
There are several examples of this, for example, a meter is a measuring device, but a metre is a unit of distance, and a racket is a din, but a racquet is for playing tennis.
+2
Level 48
Apr 1, 2017
Yep totally down here in Australia the same. Also racquet with different meanings( racket- noise)
+1
Level 85
Jan 29, 2022
Yeah, but explain your "Labor Party".
+1
Level 26
Nov 29, 2014
I am british and i know that some of these are stereotypes. For example: we spell story just the same way as you americans do!
+4
Level 77
Jan 28, 2022
Not for storeys of a building we don't. Various other commenters have made the point - the quiz should specify the meaning in several cases.
+1
Level 68
Dec 29, 2014
I'm a New Zealander (but I live in Australia) and I got them all correct, I'm quite proud considering that NZ has adopted many US spellings (though we'll probably never drop the u from colour and other like words).
+7
Level 17
Feb 20, 2015
Both "storey" and "story" are used but for completely different things, as are "cheque" and "check"
+5
Level 44
Jun 4, 2015
Also curb and kerb.
+4
Level 40
Nov 2, 2017
And mold, mould, racket, racquet, meter ad metre!
+1
Level 57
Jan 13, 2018
uummmmm.... No. They all have the same meaning
+1
Level 71
Mar 27, 2022
I once used a tennis racquet to make a racket only a metre away from a parking meter.
+3
Level 42
Mar 12, 2015
Good quiz! However, I have a couple of comments: a) "pyjamas"/"pajamas" and "aluminium"/"aluminum" are not strictly speaking differences in spelling of the same words, but in use of words which slightly different and differently pronounced; b) I think it is unfortunate to include "story" and "check" into this list, because those are perfectly acceptable British spellings, even though only applicable for some usage of the American spelling.
+6
Level 27
Oct 23, 2015
I hate this title. It should be called 'The proper spellings of words that stupid Americans can't be bothered to use'
+1
Level 67
Jan 9, 2017
I can't decide, lemons are sour.
+1
Level 70
Aug 17, 2017
Spot on Lemons!
+2
Level 33
Sep 22, 2017
British spellings are WRONG
+3
Level 68
Oct 23, 2015
Finally a quiz where the answers are spelled correctly
+1
Level 30
Dec 1, 2015
Americans: declaring independence from the British over and over and over and over and over and over again.
+1
Level 59
Jan 3, 2016
Nice. Always fun to correct American spelling. Alooominum!!!
+1
Level 28
Jan 18, 2016
there's no 'e' in story
+3
Level 67
Jan 9, 2017
Not so smart.
+1
Level 63
Feb 16, 2016
Great quiz! I had no idea that a lot of these words were spelled differently. With regards to the debate occurring in the comments, I agree that that the "better" dialect is completely subjective. Living my entire life in the United States, it looks weird and incorrect when I see "realise" or "ageing," but I know that's just me.
+2
Level 26
Apr 13, 2016
Think some defininitions of words are needed
+1
Level 81
May 26, 2016
I wonder how many people often berate Americans over their refusal to use metric whilst simultaneously insisting on retaining British spellings because.... tradition (ignoring the constant flux in spellings until relatively recent standardization). Plainly 'analyze' more accurately captures the pronunciation of that word than 'analyse'. Of course there are a few I'll stand firm on - 'aluminum' is just an odd American quirk, as no one else pronounces it that way.
+2
Level 45
Mar 30, 2017
Implying English is a language that is "read". Should they have changed "who" to hoo? "bought" to "bawt"? "laugh" to "larf"? American spellings are plainly more phonetically spelt than British spellings.
+3
Level 57
Jan 13, 2018
it'd be 'laf' imo
+3
Level 69
Feb 28, 2019
The problem with spelling English phonetically is that there are so many dialects. Take "Water". I (southern English) pronounce it "wawta"; Americans pronounce it "wahdr"; a Scot might pronounce it "wa'rr", or "Wo'rr" and so on. There are countless words which would present this problem - "Dahdr" or "Dawta" or "Do'rr" (daughter); "Satuhday", "Sadrrday" "Sa'ahdeey" "Sa'rrdeh" "Setuhdye" (Saturday). So whose phonetic spelling?
+1
Level 37
Feb 4, 2018
Just about the entire world, with the exception of the UK, USA (and possibly Australia and New Zealand) use the metric system. Why, according to comedian Trevor Noah, even drug dealers are now using metrics.
+3
Level 52
Feb 4, 2018
Australia and NZ definitely use metric.
+1
Level 41
Jun 20, 2016
If you are British and spelling metre as meter and centre as center then you are clearly wrong and should question your schooling!

As for Storey, the clue is misleading. This spelling of storey refers to a floor in a building, not a tale. Same for check. To check something we spell it the same as you, cheque is a form of payment. We spell racket when describing a din the same, racquet refers to sports equipment.

+2
Level 75
Oct 6, 2016
But isn't the clue in the nature of the quiz? i.e. things what are spelt differently in US vs UK? It either ain't difficult or adds a bit of thinking required to work out which story / check / racket it refers to.
+3
Level 68
Jan 9, 2019
What if I'm talking about the gas meter?
+1
Level 77
Mar 28, 2022
I'm British and worried I don't have an adequate moustache. (Or mustache, if you prefer.)
+1
Level 75
Oct 6, 2016
Jeez, I thought you Yanks only pronounced Aluminium incorrectly, not spelt it like that too!
+1
Level 67
Jan 9, 2017
Same!
+1
Level 77
Mar 29, 2017
We don't use spelt either, unless talking about a grain. It's always "spelled" in American English.
+2
Level 77
Jan 2, 2017
Apparently there is some official body in the US who determines these things (for court reporters, at least). I used to type court transcripts for a relative who was a court reporter and she had to go once a year for a grammar and spelling seminar to learn the changes governing their grammar and punctuation rules for official court documents. Over the course of many years we have lost commas, regained commas, seen spellings change and then change back, etc. Without changes we would all still be speaking Old English or one of the various dialects, and we wouldn't be able to understand people from different areas, even in the English-speaking world. Vive la difference as long as it doesn't become so different we can no longer communicate.
+1
Level 74
Jun 4, 2018
Gadzooks! So that's how the colonials manage it. They actually go on courses to learn how to spell incorrectly. The blighters!
+2
Level 47
Jan 7, 2017
You mean the proper spelling :)
+1
Level 32
Mar 29, 2017
Only reason I got 100%-- my best friend is British and it annoys the heck out of me whenever she writes so much as a note
+1
Level 65
Mar 30, 2017
Americans changed the original spelling (directly linked to french or latin in the majority of those exemples) to fit their ill-pronounciation. TYPICAL ! FAKE NEWS !
+3
Level 72
Dec 7, 2017
Except for "aluminum," where we're using the original name given by its discoverer ;)
+1
Level 76
Jan 30, 2022
Sir Humphry Davy made a bit of a mess of naming this new element, at first spelling it alumium then changing it to aluminum, and finally settling on aluminium in 1812. So the American logic really falls because you've actually locked in neither the first or the final choice of the discoverer!
+2
Level 66
Mar 30, 2017
Historically, words that are derived from Greek or Roman roots should use the form/spelling -ize, -izing, -ization (and -yze in the case of analyze).

Words that are derived from modern romantic/French roots, such as advertise, are always spelled with an 's' rather than a 'z', even in the US.

The British started to shift towards the -ise, -ising, -isation spellings that prevail in the UK today in the late 19th and early 20th century: possibly because Greek and Latin started to become less important on the school curriculum, possibly because the "frenchification" of the language was more desirable (French had traditionally been a language of royal courts in earlier centuries, and so had a "classy" connotation).

Some British bodies - such as the Oxford University Press - favour the original, classic -ize spellings even today.

So, in that sense, the US form of these words is the original, and arguably correct spellings.

...Not sure it explains color, labor, favor, however.

+2
Level 37
Mar 30, 2017
In a former job a new American customer insisted on a contract with American spelling for all freight documentation.

Not wanting to get it wrong I asked if they meant American spelling of the English language but was told flatly 'we speak American, so spell it American'

It was hard trying to treat them seriously after that.

+1
Level 75
Mar 30, 2017
As a French guy, this quiz is actually quite easy because a lot of those words are in fact, borrowed from the French language, and in nearly all the cases, the British spelling is true to the original French one. For the other ones, you must not forget about Latin roots and Latin spellings œ and æ.
+1
Level 83
Mar 30, 2017
œ and æ are not alternate spellings, they are letters that do not exist in English.
+1
Level 57
Mar 27, 2022
And yet they *absolutely do* exist in English. Proof? All the words that still include them in the English language (yes, they’re not the most-common spellings, but they’re still the most-accurate ones!)!
+1
Level 83
Mar 30, 2017
OED: "A man going up stairs for a day raises 205 chiliogrammes to the height of a chiliometre." I am appalled that you British have abandoned this traditional spelling.
+2
Level 55
Mar 30, 2017
I'm English, and honestly, the American spellings are better. Much more logical, and easier for L1 and L2 speakers alike. The only ones I can understand are aeroplane, aluminium, and titbit, since that's how we say it here. As for the rest - just have a reform. It's a fundamentally broken system (if you could call it a 'system' at all - it's verging on logographic.) Most other European languages do it regularly, so we definitely can.
+2
Level 70
Aug 17, 2017
How about No!
+4
Level 57
Mar 30, 2017
My god, it's amazing how a fun quiz can attract so much rhetoric and at times anger. We are all different, the world would be boring if we were all similar and, do you know what, I guessed that 'tire' was used to be the vehicular definition and not an example of lethargy.

The sad fact here in Britain is that a huge number of the younger population (and an increasing number of older indigenes) can't spell, use grammar (especially apostrophes) or even communicate properly.

Americans and Brits use different spellings and sometimes even different words. That's life! No-one is right or wrong (except maybe where jam/jelly is concerned!)

+1
Level 48
Feb 21, 2018
Jam has chunks of the fruit in it and Jelly doesn't. ( I'm American btw)
+1
Level 67
Mar 30, 2017
I am English. I agree American spellings are often better, but was brought up to use the English spellings. The strange spellings depend on the origin of the word, whether Latin, Greek, French or whatever. I however use "chile" and have no idea what Behoove means.
+1
Level 61
Mar 30, 2017
Change quiz name to "Correct Spellings Quiz" tia
+2
Level 65
Mar 31, 2017
It was at this moment that sulfuratus >realised< he had been using a mix of AE and BE all the time.
+2
Level 56
Mar 31, 2017
OMG!! I live in Ireland so some are the same and some aren't and I was so confused!
+2
Level 47
Apr 12, 2017
This is way Australia's vocab is messed up. A mixture of American and English...
+2
Level 30
Jun 9, 2017
I'm an aussie right, and I just remembered my favourite american mix up moment. I was a hotel room looking around the room (with my computer open), and my american colleague walks in saying "what's up?"

I respond with "Can't find a powerpoint"

He walks out and returns with powerpoint open with on his computer

+1
Level 27
Jul 29, 2017
full marks blud
+1
Level 63
Sep 25, 2017
Though my family lineage is largely English, I must make the point that many of the American spellings are simpler, and thus facilitate communication more easily. Also, since Americans now far out-number Brits, the new-world spellings would be preferred in a purely democratic sense.
+1
Level 54
Oct 20, 2017
You may be forgetting that, were just half of Commonwealth members able to speak English (and preferential to British English) they would still outnumber Americans by about 350%.
+1
Level 54
Oct 20, 2017
'A lexicographer's business is solely to collect, arrange, and define the words that usage presents to his hands. He has no right to proscribe words; he is to present them as they are.' -Noah Webster, who went on to prescribe a whole ton of alternate spellings in his dictionary.
+1
Level 38
Dec 15, 2017
Missed a few, helps if you know how to spell the words in the first place lol
+1
Level 15
Jan 14, 2018
3:14 to spare GG
+1
Level 48
Feb 21, 2018
Can we have a version of this quiz the other way around? British words you have to guess the American spelling of?
+1
Level 50
Apr 22, 2018
Behove? Aeon? Never used those words so no idea what they mean or shows to spell them. Otherwise, all correct
+1
Level 61
Apr 23, 2018
Several of these words have gone out of fashion even for the British (and by extension, us Aussies). The British/Australian spell checkers now are constantly telling me that spelling travelled or traveller is wrong, as is the case for many words that used to be spelled with a double 'L.'
+2
Level 69
Feb 28, 2019
Then they are probably not British/Australian spellcheckers!
+1
Level 37
Oct 11, 2018
English is my second language, taught to me by Europeans; perhaps that's why I find the English spelling of words easier (except for "kerb", which I've never heard of until now).
+1
Level 71
Oct 30, 2018
British spelling is very pleasing--except for where they replace a "z" with "s" or have "re" instead of "er".
+1
Level 46
Nov 19, 2018
So that was just french spelling most of the time eheh
+1
Level 50
Jan 9, 2019
In New Zealand British spelling is used for lots of words, and US spelling has also influenced NZ spelling. I mention this because although NZ English has more in common with British English than US, I feel I am removed enough from Britain to accept that plenty of US spellings are far more logical than the British equivalent. For example, dropping u's makes life easier, after all, we aren't French. Also, removing silent vowels makes great sense.
+3
Level 34
Jan 9, 2019
british spelling =correct spelling
+2
Level 31
Feb 8, 2019
Exactly. One of the worst examples is how they spell tap.
+1
Level 67
Jan 9, 2019
pretty easy, only racquet (was close) storey ( i guess not the tale but a storey building) and traveller, got the best of me. Never heard of behoove (sounds like someone trying to say behave haha, maybe an allo allo character). Aeon and kerb took a second look. This is gonna screw me up though haha, I think I allready used words of both "langauage/dialect" but I think now it will be even more mixed...
+1
Level 87
Jan 9, 2019
Ever since the United States kicked out England with the help of the French it's perplexing how much they've changed their spelling to be more French. Why did the U.S. retain the correct spelling? Imagine if England got conquered by King Louis in the American Revolution, they'd all be speaking French. Oh wait, apparently they are.
+1
Level 56
Jan 9, 2019
Us Canadians use basically all the british spellings.
+1
Level 85
Jan 29, 2022
As I mentioned earlier, Canadians don't "analyse" things.
+2
Level 59
Mar 23, 2019
Why would you change aluminium to aluminum when every other element pretty much ends in -ium? Seems a bit odd, and confusing. Like you don’t call it cadmum titanum or sodum, so why should aluminium be different?
+2
Level 76
May 9, 2019
I find the US insistence on changing the name of the element consistent with their insistence on using feet, gallons and pounds for units of measurement. They seem to enjoy being different, even if the rest of the world just thinks they're wrong for doing so.
+1
Level 76
Jan 30, 2022
Sir Humphry Davy made a bit of a mess of naming this new element, at first spelling it alumium then changing it to aluminum, and finally settling on aluminium. There are other elements such as lanthanum, tantalum that would match aluminum, just as there are many others such as sodium, lithium, etc. that match aluminium.
+1
Level 75
Mar 30, 2019
First try. 100%. Being french helps a bit :)
+1
Level 22
Jul 22, 2019
Some of these are wrong, I bet this quiz was made by an American person.
+5
Level ∞
Jul 22, 2019
I bet this comment was made by a Belgian!
+1
Level 34
Oct 22, 2019
I am English. A lot of those are wrong and out of context. Metre is a unit of measurement. Meter is a device for measuring electricity use for example. We also use check and cheque, totally different things.
+1
Level ∞
Oct 22, 2019
You should be able to infer the context, that we are looking for the British spelling that is different than the American one.
+1
Level 61
Jan 29, 2022
Agree completely. When we get tired in Scotland, we don't tyre. We don't kerb our instincts, just away tae oor beds when we're knackered
+3
Level 36
Aug 9, 2020
British spellings look more sophisticated and mature for some reason. Hmm
+3
Level 55
Oct 26, 2020
Because it retains the French influence, since Britain got itself conquered by France and ruled by French monarchs for centuries. American English is taking it back to the Anglo-Saxon roots. ;)
+1
Level 38
Dec 8, 2020
Words like story/storey aren't so much different spellings, depends on how it's being used. We still use story if it's a book, but storey if it's a floor on a building
+1
Level 25
Jan 14, 2021
Racquet and Manoeuvre is difficult to remember as a non-native English speaker. :( ugh...

I hope I will learn to spell those words in the future.

+1
Level 65
Jan 20, 2021
100%, but that last one was tough. I started with the letters that made sense to me: "beh", then started experimenting.
+1
Level 74
Mar 10, 2021
Aeon is the standard spelling in British English, because the British still use the original digraph 'ash' in words like ægis, æon, archæology and leukæmia. The same applies to the oe spelling in œstrogen and Oedipus, where the ligature is used to represent the Greek diphthong 'οι'. The French still use it too. In French, œ is called 'e dans l'o', which means e in the o (a French joke to aid memory used in school, sounding like (des) œufs dans l'eau, meaning 'eggs in water'). Americans have simply cut this out as it is not required for clear comprehension. Europeans, being a bit snobbish about anything classical or highbrow, have generally kept the spelling but dropped the ligature. Extremely highbrow and pretentious Grammar and Classics professors still retain the digraph.

In any case, they are not insurmountable differences, and I for one have never struggled to understand an American using different spellings and vernacular. That said, I am interested in phonetics and linguistics...

+1
Level 74
Mar 10, 2021
...and I listen to the lectures of, and read the works of, more progressive (and American) professors of linguistics such as John McWhorter, as well as learning the history of (especially) English. I even understood Bill S Preston Esquire, when he declared on the San Dimas High School stage that he had a "mild Edipal Complex". I would say Oedipus Complex (pron. 'eedipus').

As stated above, all languages are dynamic and vowels shift, and the sound of consonants also change. The letters we have are not varied enough to represent subtle differences. The differences in US and UK orthography come down to exactly what point in the history of English we first (respectively) decided to fix them in stone. Plus, of course, spelling reform. If you think that words should be pronounced as they are spelled, you are not right. The word comes first and the orthography necessarily comes later, and the system is often found lacking and is quickly superannuated, because language usage CHANGES constantly

+1
Level 74
Mar 10, 2021
In any case, speakers of both British English and American English have their preferences and their 'bêtes noires', and neither is right, just like neither is wrong. They are simply different, and as we say here in the UK, "vive la différence". :D
+4
Level 61
Jul 27, 2021
Only got manoeuvre from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
+1
Level 59
Aug 22, 2021
I suppose I spell chilli the British way then
+1
Level 27
Aug 28, 2021
29/30

Didn't know what aeon was so I didn't know how we spell it 🤷

+2
Level 58
Nov 30, 2021
Being British and 'of a certain age', I found this easy enough. But Brits of a younger generation would struggle, as so many US spellings seem to be used here now. I blame Facebook! lol

PS why don't you guys just spell it aloominum and have done with it haha

+2
Level 69
Jan 28, 2022
Being a Canadian who happens to read BBC, this quiz was mostly very easy. Then I spent 2 full minutes trying every possible way to phonetically spell curb. I eventually tried the silliest way possible to spell it and bingo. I gotta say, kerb looks like those silly spellings that Webster suggested, like masheen.
+4
Level 77
Jan 28, 2022
This quiz has been updated, but still could really use either some glosses or a caveat that some of of these words are spelled the "British" way only for one particular meaning: on this side of the pond they're homonyms rather than the same word. By my count it's six. You can check the figures on your bank cheque, tell a story set on the fourteenth storey of a building, get tired of changing your car tyre, curb your language after falling off the kerb, make a racket with your tennis racquet, and find the parking meter twenty metres away.
+3
Level 77
Jan 28, 2022
The British spelling was the original
+1
Level 87
Jan 28, 2022
Actually, many of these are Latin or ancient German forms, which were originally used in England. Spelling was not standardized in either country until decades after U.S. independence. It was a generation or so after Napoleon's defeat and after his death with the retroactive romanticization of France when French endings like -our and -re were locked in. Despite the Viking Norman conquerors' use of courtly French, the original Latin (and hence English) forms were commonly used by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, etc. Before standardization you'll find francophone spelling used interchangeably with the original German and Latin spelling conventions in England and even early documents of the independent U.S.

Sorry, but many American root forms are, more often than not, pedigreed back a millenium and a half before the traditional French versions, which later came in full vogue in 1800s England.

+1
Level 87
Jan 28, 2022
"Do thou meet me presently at the harbor.—Come hither. If thou be’st valiant, as they say base men being in love have then a nobility in their natures more than is native to them, list me. The lieutenant tonight watches on the court of guard.

- William Shakespeare

Notably, here we see a different situation with the newer French spelling of lieutenant. Old French was leuftenant, which holds over in the current British pronunciation versus American.

Many modern editions of older English texts "correct" to modern British spellings, but writers including Shakespeare used older spelling forms as well as francophone versions.

+1
Level 87
Jan 28, 2022
"Not equal, as thir sex not equal seem’d;

For contemplation hee and valor form’d,

For softness shee and sweet attractive Grace,

Hee for God only, shee for God in him:

His fair large Front and Eye sublime declar’d

Absolute rule; and Hyacinthine Locks

Round from his parted forelock manly hung

Clust’ring, but not beneath his shoulders broad:

Shee as a veil down to the slender waist

Her unadorned golden tresses wore

Dishevell’d, but in wanton ringlets wav’d

As the Vine curls her tendrils, which impli’d

Subjection, but requir’d with gentle sway,

And by her yielded, by him best receiv’d,

Yielded with coy submission, modest pride,

And sweet reluctant amorous delay."

- John Milton, Paradise Lost

Here, we see one of the most cherished of all Englishman writers holding onto older English spellings in the mid-1600s. Among them, "valor", completely U-less.

+1
Level 67
Mar 29, 2022
I believe you will find that In the UK both pronunciations of lieutenant are used, one for the army officer and one for the navy.
+2
Level 71
Jan 28, 2022
One has only to travel in the UK for a while and talk to the people in different regions to realise that there is nothing unusual about differing pronunciation and spelling of the English language. Spend a week in Liverpool, then a week in Newcastle, after that a week in Glasgow followed by a week in Birmingham and another week in London. If that doesn't prove me correct then head for the West country, Somerset or likewise and then over to Lincolnshire. If by now you think that all British people speak the same ........... your potty.
+2
Level 65
Mar 27, 2022
that would be "you're potty"
+1
Level 76
Jan 29, 2022
I admire kalbahamut's attempts to simplify the English language. I believe Orwell's Ministry of Truth adopted a similar approach
+1
Level 85
Jan 29, 2022
Why was this quiz reset? What changed? With all the criticism of the various spellings above, I am loath to add my weight to it all (that's "loth" for you Brits, although why I'm not sure, since the verb form in both places is "loathe").
+1
Level 73
Jan 29, 2022
Apparently I spell a lot of things the British way despite being American (although I did know about "grey." Believe it or not I have had actual arguments with people who are upset I use grey instead of gray) but I have to say, kerb looks absolutely ridiculous spelled that way
+1
Level 68
Mar 28, 2022
But if you're British it doesn't look at all ridiculous.
+1
Level 75
Jan 30, 2022
Who is the person in the picture?
+2
Level ∞
Jan 30, 2022
A British comedian named Michael Attree. You can usually find more info about a picture on JetPunk by clicking it.
+1
Level 68
Jan 30, 2022
I honestly think that some of these have different meanings for different spellings. Mold and mould are not the same thing where I am from.
+1
Level 85
Feb 3, 2022
So would you want to have moulding along your bedroom wall, or have molding along your bedroom wall?
+1
Level 67
Feb 5, 2022
Easy quiz if you're Canadian as we use many- but not all- of these spellings as well.
+1
Level 74
Feb 10, 2022
For Australians too.
+1
Level 78
Feb 11, 2022
Several of these are only spelt differently in the UK for specific meanings of the word (cheque, storey, tyre, kerb, racquet, metre). It would probably be a good idea to either remove these or to specify the meaning you're referring to.

Otherwise we're going to have a lot of Americans thinking that in the UK one might cheque the parking metre while making a racquet telling a storey, until your friends tyre of you and you kerb your behaviour.

+1
Level 75
Mar 22, 2022
I took 8 years of French, and even though i haven't used it since high school, i still find myself using spellings like moustache and catalogue.
+1
Level 55
Mar 27, 2022
In fact, many of these pairs are frankly DIFFERENT WORDS. 'Aeroplane' is a DIFFERENT WORD' from Airplane, not a different pronunciation of the same word. 'Storey' and 'Story' are DIFFERENT WORDS and DIFFERENT THINGS that happen to be homonyms.
+2
Level 73
Mar 27, 2022
No? yes, for the Brits the words "story" and "storey" mean different things, but in the US "story" is used for both. And I looked up the difference between "aeroplane" and "airplane" and they are just the British and American spelling, not a different word. Unless there's another meaning the dictionaries don't know about?
+1
Level 40
Mar 27, 2022
Me who's British
+3
Level 65
Mar 27, 2022
Ahh, I knew they had an o in maneuver and that it ended in an re, but I couldn’t quite get the combination right
+1
Level 32
Mar 27, 2022
You need to add definitions for these words, some words are not even common in the UK/USA so it gives advantages to other players. Adding definitions would be extremely beneficial and will make a fairer quiz overall.
+1
Level 58
Mar 27, 2022
The british version is often closer from the french/latin/greek origin of the word
+1
Level 56
Mar 28, 2022
The reverse of this quiz would be good. It could be called "How to misspell English words"
+1
Level 50
Mar 28, 2022
I'm a Brit who uses 'color'. Because System.Drawing.Color in C#
+2
Level 34
Mar 28, 2022
Crazy briish people
+1
Level 61
Mar 28, 2022
british people are silly goofy
+1
Level 43
Mar 29, 2022
British spellings just often being more complicated
+1
Level 57
Mar 30, 2022
Mate you took the words and changed them
+1
Level 67
Mar 29, 2022
Several of the spelling differences arise from whether or not original spelling of loanwords is used. This question arises in all languages that use the same alphabet. As a French speaker, when I use French words in discourse in English, I find it natural to retain their spelling. And as a Dutch speaker, well that language has a very systematic spelling, but almost everyone uses the "foreign" spelling of the extremely numerous loanwords.
+1
Level 40
Mar 31, 2022
A lot of these are incorrect.
+1
Level 43
Apr 3, 2022
Both realize and realise are acceptable British spellings: the former is using Oxford English (as used by the Oxford University Press).
+1
Level 27
Apr 18, 2022
Fascinating quiz! I'm British, and it took me ages to get "racquet" and "aeon" because I don't think I have seen either word spelt like that in anything published after the 1960's. I've also never heard the word "behove". Kept me on my toes!