Armor vs. armour

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Armor is the American spelling of the noun meaning a protective covering. Armour is the preferred spelling in all the other main varieties of English. Other than the spelling, there is no difference between the words.


For example, these non-U.S. publications use armour:

He has been training for two months, first starting with a vest and then adding bits of armour gradually. [BBC News]

A new study, published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that these odd-looking armoured creatures can spread leprosy. [Globe and Mail]

The vehicles are widely used by SWAT teams in the US, and feature advanced bulletproof and blastproof armour and ballistic glass windows. [Canberra Times]

And these American publications use armor:

The men wore heavy body armor even to the latrine inside their base. [NPR]

He seemed infinitely powerful—he had pierced America’s armor, after all—and impossible to reach. [Los Angeles Times]

Emotions, I learned, could be regarded as a chink in the pro-choice armor. [New York Daily News]

20 thoughts on “Armor vs. armour”

    • Simple way:

      They mean the exact same thing. They are both valid.

      Armor used by mostly the U.S.

      While Armour used in places like the U.K.

      Like Color in USA

      and Colour in the U.K.

      You’re welcome. :)

      PS: For you to call yourself “Genius” and not understand this, you probably aren’t really one.

  1. Just remember: “Armour” is the traditional English spelling, hence the correct spelling as American-English is merely a branch of traditional English language.

    • Not so. “Armor” comes from the Latin “armare.” In Old French it was changed to “armure” and in Middle English, “armor.”

      Shortly after British and American English diverged, it became fashionable among the British elites to emulate the French in everything, even spelling. So the U got added into words like armor/armour, favor/favour, and color/colour, whether it made any etymological sense or not.

      British and American English are both branches of Middle English. British isn’t any “purer” than American, and in fact is often less so (if you care to be pedantic about such things).

      • That’s wrong.
        The simple reason for the dropping of the letter U and other letters in words is because back in the 1800s Noah Webster wrote three books that aimed to change the language from the UK to further cement the US’ freedom. His first book was originally titled The First Part of the Grammatical Institute of the English Language, then The American Spelling Book, then The Elementary Spelling Book which became the standard text book from which American teachers taught spelling for 100 years, and it was from reprints and reissues of that original text that Noah began to subtly refine words, spelling them according to how they sound. Hence the language you write today.

        • Both of these things are true. When the British Samuel Johnson wrote the 1755 “A Dictionary of the English Language” he generally codified whatever spelling was most common at the time, preferred pseudo-Greek and Latin spellings whether the etymology supported it or not, and just generally failed to do his homework.

          When Webster created his American dictionary about fifty years later, he was much more thorough in his etymological research and attempted wherever possible to codify spellings that 1.) were true to the word’s etymological roots and 2.) made some kind of sense given how they are pronounced.

          While many of Webster’s reforms failed to catch on (he preferred “tung” to “tongue,” among others), many others, such as dropping the extraneous U from words that historically lacked it or preferring the suffix “-er” to “-re” (e.g. “center” instead of “centre”), were common-sense corrections and became the American standard.

  2. I’m so sick of being corrected for spelling ‘Armour’ and it says did you man ‘Armor?’ and I’m here telling a computer to go fuck itself.


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