Counselor vs. counsellor

Counselor is the American spelling of the noun referring to (1) a person who gives counsel, (2) an attorney, and (3) a person who supervises young people at a youth camp. Counsellor is the preferred spelling everywhere outside the U.S. Similar distinctions apply to related words such as counseled/counselled and counseling/counselling; the single-l spellings are used in American English, and the double-l spellings are preferred outside the U.S.

Examples

American publications use the single-l spelling of counselor:

Teachers and school counselors help select students who might benefit from the program. [Washington Post]

Of course, now that I’m married to my Lutheran summer camp counselor Peter, Arondel and I only meet up for coffee a couple of times a year. [Slate]

Starting in January, those students were required to meet with a financial counselor to talk about what they planned to use that money. [Courier-News]

And counsellor is preferred outside the U.S.:

She has also been seeing a psychiatrist and grief counsellor. [Daily Mail (U.K.)]

In fact I’m in the middle of Googling an old camp counsellor I had a crush on.¬†[National Post (Canada)]

Police and gambling counsellors say they are worried about a trend where vulnerable gamblers of all ages … are becoming drug mules. [Sydney Morning Herald]

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