Humor or Humour: Which one is correct?

Tomee Cseh

Language changes plenty through the years, and it adjusts to fit different cultures and locations. A cool instance of that is the distinction among “humor or humour.” Even though both phrases suggest the same aspect – something humorous or a laugh – the way they may be spelled modifications relying on wherein you are in the English-talking international. In this article, we’re going to discover why “humor” and “humour” are spelled otherwise, looking at their history, in which they’re used, and how are they used in sentences.

What is the History?

The roots of this spelling difference go back to the 18th century when Noah Webster, an American language expert, aimed to simplify and standardize English. His American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828, played a crucial role in the split between American English and British English spellings.

What’s the Geographical Differences?

The main distinction is geographical, with “humor” being the preferred spelling in American English and “humour” in British English. This spelling divide extends to other English-speaking regions, creating a global preference gap.

Check out the table below to see where each spelling is commonly used:

Geographical RegionPreferred Spelling
United StatesHumor
United KingdomHumour

Why are “Humor” and “Humour” Spelled Differently?

The words “humor” and “humour” are spelled differently because it depends on where you are. In America, we use “humor,” while in Britain, they prefer “humour.” It’s just how the language has changed over time in different places.

What are the Grammatical Aspects?

From a grammar standpoint, the difference between “humor” and “humour” is mainly about spelling. Both spellings work as nouns and verbs, depending on how they’re used in a sentence.

Here is a table for better understanding:

Grammatical FunctionExample Sentence
NounThe comedian’s humor/humour resonated with the diverse audience.
VerbShe attempted to humor/humour her friend by sharing a lighthearted joke.
AdjectiveHis humor-filled/humour-filled anecdotes captivated the entire room.

Examples for Clarity:

Noun Usage:

  • American English: The sitcom’s humor revolves around clever wordplay.
  • British English: The sitcom’s humour lies in its witty dialogue and situational comedy.

Verb Usage:

  • American English: Sarah tried to humor her colleagues during the stressful meeting.
  • British English: Sarah attempted to humour her colleagues with a humorous anecdote.

Adjective Usage:

  • American English: His humor-filled stories brought laughter to the gathering.
  • British English: Her humour-filled anecdotes added a jovial atmosphere to the party.


In the conclusion, the difference between “humor” and “humour” highlights how language evolves. While the spellings may vary, the core idea of bringing joy through laughter remains the same. Whether you lean towards “humor” or “humour,” embracing these language variations enhances our understanding of communication and brings a global appreciation for the diverse ways humor/humour enriches our lives.