American and Australian spelling differences
- Australian English uses ‘ise’ or ‘yse’ and American English ‘ize’ or ‘yze’:
organise, recognise, analyse (Au)
organize, recognize, analyze (US)
- Australian English uses ‘our’ and American English ‘or’:
colour, honour, flavour (Au) (An exception is the Australian Labor Party’s name.)
color, honor, flavor (US)
- Australian English uses ‘re’ and American English ‘er’:
centre, theatre, metre (Au)
center, theater, meter (US)
Other Australian and American English spelling differences
- Both ‘-able’ and ‘-eable’ are used in Australian English (usable, useable), but American English just uses ‘-able’ (usable).
- Australian English uses ‘-ae’ with some words (paediatrician, anaesthetic) and ‘-e’ with others (encyclopedia, medieval). American English uses ‘-e’ (pediatrician).
- Australian English uses a single ‘l’ for some words (instil, enrol, enthral, dispel), but two for others, such as forestall and install. American English uses a single ‘l’ (instal).
- American English has no ‘e’ in words such as judgment, acknowledgment and abridgment, while Australian English use both forms (judgment and judgement).
- Australian English uses ‘oe’ for some words (homoeopath, oestrogen), and ‘-e’ for others (homeostasis, not homoeostasis). US English uses ‘-e’ (estrogen).
- Australian English uses ‘-ogue’ with words such as catalogue and dialogue, and US English tends to drop the ‘ue’ (catalog, dialog).
- A few other words with different spelling are grey/gray (US), cheque/check (US) and tyre/tire (US).
Some US spellings creep into the Australian language and are adopted over time. One example is program, which is now more common than programme.
Australian spelling is more closely aligned to British English than American English. Read more about American and British spelling differences.
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