On StackExchange sites I usually use upvote. Elsewhere - vote up. What is the better variant - upvote or vote up? Is it context-specific?

  • 1
    It really doesn't make a dime's worth of difference.
    – Robusto
    Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 13:23
  • 1
    Use upvote as a noun, vote up as a verb. That should be a consideration to the reader.
    – Kris
    Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 13:35
  • 3
    @Kris: I don't buy that. I will not vote up your comment sounds decidedly stilted to me, even if I can't downvote it. Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 14:35
  • If you simply say "vote (for)," we'll know what you mean on this site. Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 0:13
  • @robusto how many ELU questions are like that? Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 0:14

1 Answer 1


What we have here was originally just a compound verb, similar to vote in which has a question devoted to it here:

Usage of "voted in"

But what happened on Stack Exchange is that the common compound verb became lexicalized - instead of remaining a compound of two words, it became a single word, upvote, as both a noun and a verb. This often happens when compound phrases (which tend to be relatively long) are in very common usage. People will contract and abbreviate, and these new forms stop behaving as abbreviations, and become lexical terms themselves.

So both vote up and upvote are common here on Stack Exchange. Outside Stack Exchange, where the concept of upvotes and downvotes isn't so prevalent, using the verb upvote might be met with a raised eyebrow.


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