The 25 Most Commonly Misspelled Words in America
Our country has quite a "bannanas" spelling "dilemna."
Think you can guess the number one most misspelled word in these United States? It’s not the one we would’ve guessed. According to Google Trends, which keeps meticulous track of what people try (and don’t always succeed) to spell while online, the word that most Americans can’t really wrap their heads around is none other than… “beautiful.” It usually gets spelled “beautyfull” or “beatiful” or even “beautifull.” Or at least it does in five U.S. states: California, Minnesota, Kentucky, Ohio, and New York.
Google Trends also revealed the most commonly misspelled words in every other state. Some of them weren’t surprising, and some of them left us scratching our heads, or even laughing. Listen, everybody makes boneheaded spelling mistakes, so we don’t want to point any fingers. But sometimes, a spelling error says more about you than it does about the difficulty of a word. So let’s take a closer look at 25 of the most misspelled words in America.
At least for the fine folks of New Hampshire, the word “difficult” is really, well, you know… difficult. Don’t forget that extra “f”—it’s not “dificult”—or make it more complicated than it needs to be, like giving it a vaguely British-looking spelling like “dificoult.” You can do this, New Hampshire!
This can be a challenging word regardless of where you live, but people from Michigan, Alabama, Washington, Illinois, and Maine have an especially difficult time with it. Can we just change the spelling to “newmonia” so they can all stop feeling foolish?
For such a joyful word, hallelujah doesn’t get much love in Delaware or Indiana, where it frequently gets butchered with spellings like “hallaluja” or “hallaluya.” This is probably why people in general like to shout the word in church rather than spell it.
Some states can be tough to spell, like Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and Massachusetts. But Wisconsin? Doesn’t seem like much of a challenge. Well apparently it’s tough one to spell, especially if you live in… wait for it…. Wisconsin! Come on, seriously? Its own state, Wisconsin. That’s like forgetting the spelling of your own name.
When we learned that this is a common misspelling in Louisiana, we had so many questions. We get why it’s difficult—the word seems like it should be spelled “giraff”—but why is this a problem specifically in Louisiana? The last time we were in New Orleans, not once did we ask: “Where are all the giraffes?”
Have you tried the sauerkraut in Pennsylvania? It’s delicious. Those Pennsylvanians sure know how to make some kraut. They just don’t know how to spell it, and end up with creative close-but-no-cigar words like “saurkraut,” “saurkraught” and “suerkrauet.”
How exactly have the people of Mississippi mastered all the consonants and vowels in their state’s crazy name and yet a word like “nanny” confounds them? Does “nany” really not look like a mistake? Come on, our Mississippian friends, it’s just one pair of consonants. You can handle the pressure!
We feel your pain, South Carolina and Arkansas. We have yet to successful spell this canine breed’s name without spell check. But if botching the spelling is such a common occurrence for you, maybe it’s time to finally retire your chihuahuas blog.
We’re sure you’re excited about your big trip to Europe, Vermont, but before you get your passport, you might want to make sure you’re not spelling this particular continent as “europ” or “urope”. You’re sooooo close.
You don’t have to go to college to know that college isn’t spelled “colege” or “collage.” But if you live in South Dakota, you might end up stumbling over the word anyway, even if you’re collage-educated. (Did you catch that? If you did, congratulations, you probably don’t live in South Dakota.)
Don’t feel bad, Rhode Island. While it’s true that “liar” should be spelled with the I before the A, the good news is that every time you write “lair” instead, it sounds like you’re a Bond villain who lives in a secret underground lair and is plotting world destruction. That’s pretty cool, right?
It’s not that New Hampshire can’t decide if it’s spelled “diarrea” or “diarreah.” We’ve all been there. It’s that enough people in New Hampshire have been searching online for diarrhea, typing so quickly that they can’t get the spelling right, and in great enough numbers that Google would notice. Is everything okay, New Hampshire? Maybe try some Pepto?
Both Connecticut and West Virginia have a difficult time with this word. We agree, it’s a difficult one to spell from memory. We usually only get as far as the “supercali…” part and then give up. But it begs the question, how often does a fake word from Mary Poppins really come up in an email?
Everything’s big in Texas, including misspellings of “maintenance.” Missouri shares their confusion for exactly how to correctly spell this one, usually just getting a letter off, like “maintenace” or “maintanance.”
We have a dilemma too, North Dakota. It’s how to delicately tell you that “dilemma” isn’t spelled “dilemna.”
Late-night host Stephen Colbert is from South Carolina. But he might as well be from New Mexico, where they still can’t figure out the correct spelling for banana. Sorry, Stephen, but it’s not B-A-N-N-A-N-A-S.
If you think “gray” should be spelled with an E, you’re either from the United Kingdom or the U.S. state Georgia. There’s even a city in Georgia, 80 miles outside of Atlanta, named Gray, and it’s spelled correctly. Come on, Georgians, just look at your own state map!
Don’t quote us on this, Idaho, but we’re pretty sure “quote” is not spelled “kwot.”
Both Arizona and Colorado have every intention of figuring out whether tomorrow has two Rs or just one and if there’s an extra M that they’re always forgetting, but they’ll worry about it tomorrow.
We agree with Iowa, the spelling of “vacuum” just never looks right. Why the extra U? Just in terms of pure aesthetics, “vaccum” seems more correct, or even “vacume.” Vacuum looks like it should be pronounced “Vacuuuuuuuuuum.” We feel your pain, Iowa.
Why does the word “twelve” always baffle New Jerseyans? Is it because they’ve seen too many productions of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and so “twelf” starts to look like the proper way to spell 12? No, we’re seriously asking.
We’re not entirely sure why Oregon has difficulty with this one. Are they confusing it with “cents,” as in the currency? Sorry for the easy diss, but it doesn’t make much “sense” why a state of roughly four million people couldn’t pool their intellectual resources to break the “sense” spelling riddle.
It’s one of those words that it’s easy to feel cocky about until it comes time to write it. And then you’re like, “Wait, is it ‘recipt’ or ‘reciept’? Aw dang, I don’t remember!” Don’t expect any judgy finger-wagging from us, Florida. Also, good luck finding an accountant to handle all your recipts.
We’re not trying to make you feel bad, Hawaii. Honestly, we’re not. But where did you go wrong when trying to spell “people?”
We’re not surprised that Montana is confused about how to spell “surprise.” We’re not suspicious by Nebraska’s inability to correctly spell “suspicious.” We don’t even think it’s all that special that Maryland is confounded by the word “special.” But Virginia’s confusion about the right order of letters necessary to spell “delicious” gives us pause.
Yes, we sometimes think that spelling it “delish-ious” makes more sense, too. But it’s possible you’ve consumed a few too many delicious country hams if this word is still insurmountable on your second or third try. And for more linguistic hilarity, don’t miss these 40 Facts About Words That Will Make You Say “OMG!”
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