fairy tale or fairytale?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Alegnasile, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Alegnasile New Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Please, I need to know if the correct spelling for "fairy tale" is "fairy tale" or "fairytale". Are the two options correct?
  2. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    Two words, "fairy tale."
  3. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    They are both acceptable as nouns, although if you want an adjective it would be fairy-tale or fairytale (eg a fairy-tale/fairytale romance). Both forms are given in the WR Dictionary (= Concise Oxford Dictionary).
  4. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    There may be a difference between AE and BE here.
  5. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    Both are equally correct and so is the third alternative fairy-tale. There is rarely any one correct answer for simple noun + noun compounds like this: in English, it just doesn't matter much which you write.
  6. Alegnasile New Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Thank you!
  7. pwmeek

    pwmeek Senior Member

    SE Michigan, USA
    English - American
    I hyphenate (or combine when possible) when using the whole phrase as a modifier; keep as two words when using as a noun.
  8. ryansamturner Member

    British English
    I believe it to be 2 words, however things like the Pogues song, 'Fairytale of New York' try to convince me other wise. Thoughts?

    << Moderator's note: Merged with a previous thread. >>
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2012
  9. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
  10. morzh

    morzh Banned

    Both are OK.
  11. ryansamturner Member

    British English
    That is a nifty tool. Appreciate it. I should have joined this forum ages ago!
  12. Parla Member Emeritus

    New York City
    English - US
    I find dictionaries very helpful when checking spelling.

    The American Heritage Dictionary and the Concise OED agree that the noun fairy tale is two words. It can also be an adjective (modifying "romance", for example); that's one word, fairytale, in the US, but hyphenated, fairy-tale, in the UK.

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