Depending on where you are in the world, you have probaly heard the words ‘Aunty’ or ‘Auntie’. But which spelling is correct? It turns out that both words are actually informal versions of the word ‘aunt’. However, the words Aunty and Auntie are not used in the exact same situations. Read on to master this informal spelling rule.
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Pick The Correct Spelling: Aunty or Auntie?
Oftentimes a small spelling difference can completely change the meaning of a word in the English language. Think about the words play it by ear or year for example. As we mentioned, the word auntie or the word aunty are informal versions of the word aunt. You would not use these words in a formal paper, but they are commonly used in informal communication.
- Aunty – The ‘-y’ ending is used to add endearment. This version of the word ‘aunt’ is an informal word that is most commonly used in British English.
- Auntie – The ‘-ie’ ending is added to the formal word aunt. This term is also used to add endearment to a loved family member. Auntie is more frequently used in American English.
Takeaway: Aunty is used in British English and Auntie is used in American English. British and American English often have slightly different spelling rules!
When To Use Aunty
The word Aunty is an informal word for the noun Aunt, just like the word Chris’s. For many people, the word ‘Aunty’ is a term of endearment used to refer to an aunt. It is considered a more affectionate way to refer to your aunt.
Here are some sentence examples:
- My Aunty is my Uncle’s wife, I always send her a postcard on the Holidays.
- I love when my favorite Aunty comes to Thanksgiving, she’s the best cook.
- Every time my Aunty comes to the Christmas party it’s a good time!
When To Use Auntie
For many of us, the word ‘Auntie‘ conjures up memories of a special someone who was often central in our childhood. My Aunties have an almost magical ability to make boring holiday parties exciting and fun. Just remember your capitalization rules! You should capitalize Auntie as it describes your relationship to a specific person (i.e. Auntie Jenny).
The word ‘Auntie’ comes from the French word ‘ante’, meaning ‘like a mother‘. This informal version is used in American English and is most popular in the USA.
- The best part about Thanksgiving is I get to see my favorite Auntie.
- I was so happy to see my Auntie in the crowd supporting me during the basketball game.
- I love hanging out with my cousins and Auntie on the weekends.
Origins Of The Word Aunt
Today, we all know that your Aunt is the brother or sister of your parents. For example, your Dad’s sister or Mom’s sister is your aunt.
The actual origin of the word Aunt dates hundreds of years back to the latin word ‘amita’. This means your ‘father’s sister’. Aunt has a much more formal tone than Aunty or Auntie. Just like with the words freshmen and freshman or even ladel or ladle spelling really matters. However, in America, Auntie is much more popular.
Variations Of Aunt By Country
The spelling of a word can change depending on where someone lives in the world, take greatly or grately for example. Different regions spell certain words slightly differently. I often chalk this up to the difference between descriptive grammar and prescriptive grammar rules of spelling.
The term ‘auntie’ is used widely in popular culture, but its context and usage can vary greatly from place to place. In the United States, the term ‘auntie’ is used more often than it is in other parts of the world and for many different purposes.
In the UK, you are more likely to hear the word Auntie in daily conversation. The word Auntie is used in the UK to refer to the endearing or familiar names of an older woman. Whereas in the USA, it is usually just used to refer to your Mother or Father’s sister.
Make Aunty and Auntie Plural
Aunty and Auntie are singular nouns that follow the traditional spelling rules to become plural. In fact, they follow the same spelling rules as other nouns like gooses or Momma in the English language.
- Auntie becomes Aunties
- Aunty becomes Aunties
Here are some examples:
- I have four Aunties on my Mom’s side of the family.
- I love all my Aunties equally
- My Aunties always get the best Christmas presents.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are two ways to spell the word “aunty” – “aunty” (British English) and “auntie” (American English). The difference is due to the different rules that British and American English have for adding suffixes to words.
Both words are used to refer to your Mother or Father’s sister. However, both of these words are considered to be a less formal word for ‘Aunt’.
Yes, Aunt and Aunty are the same. However, they should be used in different situations. Use Aunt in more formal settings. Use Aunty in a more casual setting to add endearment.
Yes, Aunty is a correct word. This is a more informal version of the word Aunt.
The Bottom Line
Now you know that the words, Auntie, Aunty, and Aunt all refer to the same thing! However, they should all be used in different situations. Aunt is the most formal word of the group and should be used in formal writing. Aunty and Auntie are used depending on where you live in the world! If you struggle with this rule, consider using our spelling corrector tool to make spelling easy.