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"honorary" vs. "honourary"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by English Lady, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. English Lady New Member

    English speaking Canada
    I am having a disagreement with my boss at work (he is the Mayor of a small town in Ontario, Canada). I say there is only ONE way to spell honorary - it is spelled "honorary" in both British/Canadian English, as well as American (U.S.A.) English. There is no "u" - unlike other British/Canadian English words such as "honour", "honourable", etc.

    Could someone please respond with authority? Thanks ever so much.

    Sincerely,
    English Lady
     
  2. Typo Junior Member

    New Zealand
    English
    I would never use 'honourary', and it doesn't appear in my dictionary (I live in New Zealand, where we speak British English).

    Hope that helps :)
     
  3. comsci

    comsci Senior Member

    Taiwan, Vancouver(B.C.) and the Rockies
    Mandarin, Taiwan(Yankees 40 Wang)
    I wonder then why "honour" and "honourable". I'm aware of the fact that they're BE spelling. :)
     
  4. Moogey Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    USA English
    "Honourary" is not in the dictionary ;)

    -M
     
  5. comsci

    comsci Senior Member

    Taiwan, Vancouver(B.C.) and the Rockies
    Mandarin, Taiwan(Yankees 40 Wang)
    Fair enough then. ^^
     
  6. . 1 Senior Member

    Ferntree Gully
    Australian Australia
    The Collins confirms my suspicion that the word is AE in origin and never had a 'u'.

    .,,
     
  7. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    Honour loses its 'u' in many of its variants. Honorary, honorific, honorarium and honorand all lose it.
    Honourable and honoured retain it.
     
  8. English Lady New Member

    English speaking Canada
    Thanks for your replies everyone. They were very helpful.
     
  9. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The OED (Oxford English Dictionary) mentions that honourary was an alternative spelling in the 18th/ 19th centuries.
     
  10. zena168 Junior Member

    US
    ROC Mandarin
    We say “honor” and “honorary” only in the U.S. “Honour” is seen in certain literatures but not contemporary American literature. “Honourary” must be something your boss read up in some historical text.
     

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