If you’ve ever second-guessed yourself while trying to spell words like “beautiful,” “receipt,” and “license,” and turned to Google for help, you’re far from the only one.
Hey Google, how do you spell…?
For better or worse, the days of flipping through a dictionary to find how to spell something are all but over. Whenever we’re uncertain about how to spell a word, the correct spelling is only a few quick keystrokes away. Thanks to data from SEMrush, we’ve found the words that people Google how to spell most often—and many of them are probably words you use all the time. Here are some of the common—but tricky-to-spell—words that found their way into search bars most often in the past year. Plus, test your spelling chops with these fourth-grade spelling words most adults get wrong.
How do you spell beautiful?
According to SEMrush data, “beautiful” was the word that uncertain spellers searched for most in 2018. The query “how do you spell beautiful” racked up an average of 9,633 searches per month in 2018, more than any other “how do you spell…?” search. And this makes sense when you think about it. “Beautiful” is a pretty common descriptor, but keeping the precise order of all those vowels straight can be tricky. And the pronunciation doesn’t help matters. Really, English, why are the four letters “beau” pronounced like “byoo” when they start a longer word, but when they’re on their own, you pronounce them “boh”? It’s really no surprise that “beautiful” makes several appearances on the list of the most misspelled words in every state, too.
How do you spell niece?
For two little letters, “I” and “E” can certainly cause a whole bunch of linguistic confusion when they’re together. Just think of all the different vowel sounds “ie” can make in words like “pie,” “friend,” and “diesel.” With the order flipped, “ei” can make the “ee” sound as well, in words like “receive” and “seize.” So it’s no surprise that spellers are uncertain which of these configurations makes the first sound in “niece.” The word for a sibling’s daughter landed in a three-way tie for second most-searched “how do you spell” query, amassing an average of 8,100 searches per month.