Spelling Tips: Granddad, Grandad and Granddaughter
  • 2-minute read
  • 29th July 2020

Spelling Tips: Granddad, Grandad and Granddaughter

It’s easy to remember how to spell “grandma,” “grandmother,” and “grandson” – they all have a single “d.” But when it comes to “granddad,” “grandad” and “granddaughter,” it’s a little trickier. Which of these spellings are correct? In this post, we’ll look at how to avoid errors when using these words.

Granddad or Grandad?

“Granddad” and “grandad” mean “grandfather” (i.e., the father of a mother or father). Both spellings are common, and you’ll find both in dictionaries:

Kim’s grandad lives in New York.

Kim’s granddad lives in New York.

In most cases, then, the “correct” spelling is simply a matter of preference.

However, while “granddad” with a double “d” is the most popular spelling in American English, both spellings are common in British English. As such, you may want to use the spelling that is most common in your dialect (or that your readers will know best).

Granddaughter or Grandaughter?

A “granddaughter” is a female grandchild. Some people misspell this word as “grandaughter” with only one “d,” but the correct spelling is “granddaughter”:

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Joy looks after her granddaughter on Tuesdays.

Joy looks after her grandaughter on Tuesdays.

Why does “grandad” have a single “d” spelling and not “granddaughter”? There is no reason! It’s just a matter of convention (welcome to the confusing world of English spelling). But until single “d” spelling catches on, the only correct version of this word is “granddaughter” with a double “d.”

Summary: Granddad, Grandad and Granddaughter

To summarize what we’ve explained in this post:

  • Both “granddad” and “grandad” are common spellings.
  • In American English, “granddad” is the standard spelling.
  • In British English, “grandad” and “granddad” are both common.
  • “Granddaughter” is the only correct spelling for a female grandchild.

Hopefully, this should help you to avoid spelling errors. But if you’d like an expert to check your writing is error free, our proofreaders can help!

Comments (4)
Kristin Noland
4th August 2020 at 08:13
If we can't use grandaughter, how will it ever catch on?
    Proofed
    4th August 2020 at 11:15
    If you want to campaign for the acceptance of "grandaughter" and use it in your own writing, feel free! It's unlikely to cause any confusion, and if it catches on among enough people, the dictionaries will eventually include it. Our post is just to clarify that, for now at least, "grandaughter" is typically considered an error, especially in formal writing, since it isn't recognized as a variant spelling by the major dictionaries or style guides.
      Tony
      21st January 2021 at 18:08
      I disagree that granddad spelt with two gs is most common in US English. The opposite is true as the Americans don't use that name for their grandfather. They use grandpa and grandpop or usually. Whenever I spell granddad the spellchecker changes it to one d because it's an American spellchecker. When I started as a compositor on an English newspaper grand dad was two words or hyphenated as it is a compound made from Grand and Dad the same as Granddaughter.
      Proofed
      22nd January 2021 at 09:50
      Hi, Tony. We did link to the Google Ngram for the two spellings in the post showing that "granddad" is the most common spelling in the US English corpus (and we were looking at those spellings rather than other synonyms): https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=granddad%2Cgrandad&year_start=1800&year_end=2012&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cgranddad%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cgrandad%3B%2Cc0 That said, it will of course vary from place to place and time to time (the Ngram shows that usage has gone down for both terms, for instance). So that may explain why your personal experience of the word is different to the overall trend.

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