It is always interesting when a word has multiple accepted spellings. I'm wondering what people here have to say on this particular word.

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    Can you cite any evidence that Employe even has any currency (let alone credibility)? Aug 4, 2015 at 22:01
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    Employee (also employe), noun: One who is employed by another (AHD) :thefreedictionary.com/employe.
    – user66974
    Aug 4, 2015 at 22:04
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    @FumbleFingers I don't know if you would consider dictionary.com to be credible, but dictionary.reference.com/browse/employe is a thing, as is en.wiktionary.org/wiki/employe. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/employee lists 'employe' as a variant.
    – linuxdan
    Aug 4, 2015 at 22:15
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    - 1 You don't know which is more common? Which form people consider "correct"? I find that very hard to believe. Now, if you had asked what happened to "employe" or why one form was/is preferred that might provoke some interesting answers.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 4, 2015 at 22:20
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    ...note that you really should have included those definitions in the original question, rather than saving them to be brandished "in defence" after the fully-expected WTF? reaction. Aug 4, 2015 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


Employe is a rare dated alternative spelling of the more common employee (AHD)

Ngram: an employe. Ngram: an employee vs an employe

  • From French employé. Employe (plural employes).

  • 1920, Conference proceedings of the National Electric Light Association Convention, National Independent Meat Packers Association, the University of Georgia College of Agriculture, page 103: For that clerk, in the eyes of the people who come to you for service, is not merely an employe.

  • 1935, Education Digest, page 16: As soon as a qualified substitute can be obtained, he should, upon the request of an employe recommend him for release from his contract.

  • 1922, Lila Bell Acheson Wallace and De Witt Wallace, The Readers Digest, The Readers Digest Association, page 86: Bring the same relationship we used to enjoy in the firm of 50 years ago > > - when the employe used to kick the boss's door open and say: 'Joe, I just discovered [...]'.
  • 1859, Transactions of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, the Chicago Homeopathic Medical Society, page 156: In his endeavor to justify a radical action, the employe often carries his grievance so far that an element of the ridiculous enters into his arguments [...].


From Etymonline


  • word-forming element in legal English (and in imitation of it), representing the Anglo-French -é ending of past participles used as nouns. As these sometimes were coupled with agent nouns in -or, the two suffixes came to be used as a pair to denote the initiator and the recipient of an action.


  • "person employed," 1850, mainly in U.S. use, from employ + -ee. Formed on model of French employé.
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    I declare this usage to be a typo! :P Damn outliers. Aug 4, 2015 at 22:20
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    @Josh61 thanks for actually providing an answer, rather than ridiculing my ability to spell, or do proper research for myself.
    – linuxdan
    Aug 4, 2015 at 22:35
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    OED make no mention of it being dated, obsolete, archaic, or whatever. And their two most recent citations are 1979 & 2006 - they don't normally include such recent usages for words which have declined significantly over time. My guess it was always "rare", but has stubbornly refused to curl up and die. Aug 4, 2015 at 22:35

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