Words Ending in -gue
An email in which the word colleague was spelled “colleag” got me thinking about English words that end with a hard g sound spelled -gue.
Since only a few such words are in common use, learning to spell them shouldn’t be too difficult.
WARNING: These words start to look strange when you look at them in a group.
Twenty-six common English words end with the spelling -gue.
Variant spellings drop the -ue.
The following -gue words have no acceptable variant spellings, not even in Merriam-Webster:
For each of the following -gue words, Merriam-Webster recognizes variant spellings without the -ue:
The OED, on the other hand, does not dignify decalog, demagog, travelog, epilog, or monolog with entries. It acknowledges the existence of pedagog, catalog, and synagog. Pedagog and catalog are listed among obsolete spellings. Travelogue has an entry at which it is identified as “originally U.S,” but no variant spelling is given. Synagog is shown at synagogue and labelled U.S.
The OED does have an entry for prolog, but it has nothing to do with the word prologue:
prolog: (The name of) a high-level logic programming language derived from Lisp, originally designed for natural language processing but now used in many artificial intelligence programs.
I can write analog, catalog, and travelog without a shudder.
I cannot bring myself to write epilog, decalog, or synagog.
Browse all articles on the Spelling category or check the recommended content for you below:
Improve your English in 5 minutes a day! Subscribe to our Writing Tips and Exercises via Email
- You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed!
- Subscribers get access to our archives with 800+ interactive exercises!
- You'll also get three bonus ebooks completely free!