Never mind vs nevermind


Never mind, as two words, is a conjunction. It is usually used between two options, ideas, or situations, with the latter being the less probable. It is synonymous with much less or let alone.

Another definition for never mind is when the words are used almost as an interjection to tell the listener not to worry. Most commonly it is used when the audience is trying to figure out a concept or idea, or even simply what the speaker said. It is almost synonymous with forget about it or it doesn’t matter. Some dictionaries list this definition under never mind, while others don’t list it at all. On the other hand, most speakers have gone the way of simplification and merged the two-word conjunction into nevermind.

Spell checkers will flag nevermind, but it is used once for every two times never mind is used, which means it’s pretty popular. It is only a matter of time before it is added to the dictionary as an official listing. Meanwhile, in informal language it is fine, but stick to never mind for formal work. Though the odds of telling your audience in a formal work to forget about it, is unlikely. Perhaps that is why the written definition is lacking.


“I said, ‘What you are doing? Who are you?” he said. “And he said, ‘Nevermind.’” [CBS Local Miami]

It would be a tough ask for him to get all Protestants – who are in the minority in the constituency – voting for him, never mind crossing the religious divide to get an overall majority. [Belfast Telegraph]

9 thoughts on “Never mind vs nevermind”

  1. “[..] it is used once for every two times never mind is used, which
    means it’s pretty popular. It is only a matter of time before it is
    added to the dictionary as an official listing.”

    Does that mean we’ll be using apostrophes to make plurals of anything but single characters soon?

  2. “Spell checkers will flag nevermind, but it is used once for every two times never mind is used, which means it’s pretty popular.”

    Although I was born in 1986 and can’t be entirely sure of the following, something tells me that “nevermind” was neverused before Nirvana’s breakout album of the same name. I’m disappointed this aspect of the etymology was not discussed herein.

    Also, while we’re at it, how about an article on “spell checkers” vs. “spellcheckers”

    • You seriously think nirvana changed the way that 3+ billion people, who speak english, spell the word based on an album that maybe has 50-100 million listeners. Never mind how many of those listeners didn’t know that they had spelled it that way. A lot of people don’t pay attention to the spelling of things, but rather the pronunciation. People are just to caught in technology these days and let autospell fix their spelling since it came on cell phones in the mid 90’s, same time as nirvana’s album ” Whatever” was released.

  3. I wouldn’t rule it out, disqus_rZhQsk2w1O — like it or not, there’s a substantial proportion of younger speakers in particular who have grown up with that album as a very visible part of the culture, propagating the erroneous spelling. I always like to use a musical comparison to point out the error: i.e. “It’s not one word as in Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’, it’s two words as in the Sex Pistols’ ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’.” Always good to be able to use the word ‘bollocks’ to illustrate a point of grammar.

    Enjoyed hiram’s meta-mispelled post, by the way :)

    • Nice illustration! Both are such great albums. Although, I could also repurpose for my evil deeds:

      – In its grungy self-deprecation, Nirvana proposes we disregard its album, “Nevermind.”

      – While the Sex Pistols convey with rebellious aloofness that we all, “Never mind the bullocks.” Personally, I never do mind the bullocks. One shouldn’t let the nonsense in life get the best of oneself, as many a punk would agree.

  4. I just tell my Galaxy and Outlook to accept nevermind as a word and it doesn’t get flagged. Then again, I use a lot (not alot) of compound words that get flagged all of the time.

  5. I prefer “nevermind” when I want to convey, “Please disregard, listener.” I use “never mind” in a statement such as, “I never mind doing the dishes after someone has done the cooking.”

    I’m generally a stickler for the formally accepted, but I stand firm on my choice with this one. I can’t believe “ain’t” and “irregardless” have been accepted, but “nevermind” is still out!

    Yuk! By typing it, I just added “irregardless” to my phone’s dictionary.


Leave a Comment