I've always spelt it with an "a". But my friend insists on spelling it with an "o". Is this an acceptable variant?

  • 4
    Roald Dahl says 'swop places' in Danny the Champion of the World I was very surprised - hence I'm here!
    – user90516
    Sep 6, 2014 at 1:03
  • 1
    There is also 'swot', a variant spelling of 'swat'.
    – GEdgar
    May 29, 2015 at 13:43

2 Answers 2


In American English and British English swop is a variant spelling of swap. (See the also swop note at the top of the page.)

The copy of the NOAD I had on my Mac Mini explicitly said swop is a variant spelling of swap, and also reported swop as chiefly British.

  • 6
    Interesting, I've never seen that spelling. You learn something new everyday.
    – Dusty
    Apr 15, 2011 at 14:31
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    I am British, but if I've ever seen swop, I'd just have assumed it was a spelling mistake. Certainly not what I'd expect from a careful (reasonably educated) writer. NOAD may well be right, but that would be odd because in general if there's a US/UK difference in spelling, the US form is more likely to be phonetic (thanks to the efforts of Webster & such). Apr 15, 2011 at 14:48
  • 1
    If it's an acceptable variant, I think I'm going to start using it just to have some fun with people! :) Apr 15, 2011 at 15:43
  • 1
    I remember finding "swop" in print, and later being chastised for copying that spelling. The spelling appeared in a UK children's book; I believe it was "Ging Gang Goolie, It's An Alien" by Bob Wilson.
    – RJHunter
    Jun 27, 2011 at 6:00
  • It seems to be the prevalent spelling in Singapore as well.
    – V2Blast
    Feb 3, 2016 at 12:11

I know that "swop" is a variant, having seen it in manuals and help discussions like this, but I've never seen it used in real life (i.e., in US usage). Looks very UK-ish.

  • 6
    British people exist in real life too ;-)
    – StuartQ
    Jul 25, 2014 at 8:29
  • Normally, the US version makes more sense phonetically in my experience.
    – mjaggard
    Sep 24, 2018 at 11:54

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