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Have you ever wondered which is the correct spelling: aunty or auntie? Maybe you’ve just made a bet with your sibling and you’re here to prove them wrong, or you’re sending Christmas cards and want to get the spelling right.

Well, actually, ‘aunty’ and ‘auntie’ are just informal versions of the word ‘aunt’, and so both are okay to use. But if you’re really pedantic, and you absolutely need to know if it’s aunty or auntie…

What the dictionaries say about aunty or auntie

The ever trustworthy Dictionary.com, Google, Wikipedia and the Cambridge English Dictionary redirect ‘aunty’ to ‘auntie’, so the latter is most likely more correct. The Merriam-Webster dictionary also does this, and claims the first use of ‘auntie’ was in 1672. However, they don’t reference how they know this or explain more about the story.

Aunty or auntie depends on where you are

Based on my research, I get the gist that whether you use aunty or auntie depends on where you are geographically and culturally. Aussies tend to use ‘aunty’ more, whilst the Brits use ‘auntie’. Both use aunty or auntie to refer to our Broadcasting Corporations, the ABC and the BBC. According to the infallible Wikipedia, Aussies adopted ‘Aunty’ as a name for our ABC in imitation of the English nickname ‘Auntie’ for their BBC.

Use in reference to Indigenous Australian women

The term aunty or auntie is also used as a term of respect to refer to an older Indigenous Australian woman, who may or may not be related to the speaker. Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians can use ‘aunty’ or ‘auntie’ towards a woman of high esteem and earned respect, but non-Indigenous Australians should always ask whether this is appropriate. If you’re wondering how to address an aunty or auntie in your local Aboriginal community non-verbally, for example writing a letter, email, or mentioning her online, you should simply ask her how she would like to be referred to.

Which do you think is right, aunty or auntie? Tell us in the comments below!

  • I have always used Auntie……

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  • Always been Aunty for me

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  • I’ve always used auntie for my aunts and close female friends of parents. My kids all called my sister and sister-in-law auntie and my grandkids call my my other daughter aunty also my sister and sisters-in-law the same rather than trying to explain its my sister or their fathers sisters. So it’s aunties all around for me and mine.

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  • I feel like it is aunty

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  • I’ve always used Aunty. I always thought that people who wrote Auntie were bad spellers haha!

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  • That’s interesting to read of the re direction in dictionaries. So maybe we should all be using Auntie…….for me, it’s always been Aunty

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  • I’ve always used Auntie and I’m born and raised Australian

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  • Always been Aunty for me however I think both are ok. And if in doubt just use Aunt I suppose.

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  • It’s always been Aunty to me, and I was born in England but educated in Australia. I would use Auntie with an s as a plural. I’ve never said Aunt.

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  • Growing up, I always used Auntie when referring to my aunts. However now that I’m a mum, I’ve noticed others referring to themselves as Aunty.

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  • Aunty. Auntie looks wrong to me!

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  • I’m not an Aunty but everyone I know writes it “Aunty” and I’m sure I would too if I ever became an aunty

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  • I had several and I was to spell it as Auntie. I notice some of my nieces spell it with a Y and have only changed to that within the last 4 years (when another baby came along)

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  • Aunty. I also use Nanna not nana. I suppose it really is a personal preference.

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  • Aunty. What about Nana or Nanna?

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