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’ve never really thought about the difference! I spell it Aunty


  • Online scrabble can be really annoying on this kind of issue – I often want to argue with it. Which is silly of course.


  • i’ve always used aunty


  • I use Aunty but on occasions over the years I have often come across Auntie. Use whatever spelling suits you!


  • I’ve used both in my life but have come to use aunty. I wouldn’t say I think this is the right spelling it is just easier to type.


  • It’s always been aunty to me and I’m generally surprised at the findings.


  • I use Auntie but I’m a Brit originally so that’ll be why. Surely it doesn’t matter either way?


  • I use Aunty but seeing them both written they both look wrong to me now after trying to think which is correct


  • So many words like the colours and color for Americans interesting


  • Usually auntie, but also have used aunty; both seem ok to use.


  • I always use Aunty but don’t think it matters which one people use.


  • A question I strangely had in the back of my mind that came up every time I wrote a birthday card, and now I know!


  • Never heard of using aunty to refer to the ABC


  • It’s like mum or mom haha ???? morning


  • I have had this argument many a times with my friend from England lol my family amd hubbys have always used Aunty, whereas my friends family have always used Auntie, to each their own I guess! :)


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