Smidgeon or Smidgen?

Moondog68

New Member
English
I prefer, "smidgeon" without knowing why. Does anyone know where the "e" came from? I have always preferred British spelling to American. It only makes sense that England should know English better than anyone. It's funny, though. I have spelled and pronounced words according to British English (that sounds so redundant) since I was a child. I believe that I'm of Irish, Scottish and English descent (heavy on the Irish), but mayhap there is more than a smidgeon of English blood in my veins.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English (US - northeast)
    Hello, @Moondog68. Welcome to the forum.

    smidgen - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

    The WR dictionary has 2 definition lists from US English (AE), then one ("Collins") from UK English (BE).
    This page says that in AE, there are three correct spellings: smidgen, smidgin, smidgeon
    This page says that in BE, there are two correct spellings: smidgen, smidgin

    I've never seen it spelt with an 'O'.
    I've always seen it spelled "smidgeon". Maybe it is regional. I grew up west of New York City (in the suburbs) then went to college in Boston, and lived in Massachusetts later on.

    Here is a graph showing American English usage (in printed books) since 1950:

    Google Books Ngram Viewer

    The spelling "smidgen" seems to have an advantage, though "smidgeon" is used about 20%.
     
    Last edited:

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Well, the -geon ending is prcedented by dungeon, curmudgeon, bludgeon and pigeon, so that familiarity might have influenced the situation a smid oh, wait, just a tad. Wigeon also sometimes has a d.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Would you clarify your question, please, Moondog68?

    Are you asking about the origin of the spelling of 'smidgeon'?
    Or are you asking which spelling is considered correct?
     
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