I was doing a small piece of language translation in Google Translate, and it detected the use of "thankyou" in the text and asked "do you mean - thank you".

Is the single word version - thankyou - an aberration?

  • 5
    It's not even non-standard. It's a mistake/not acceptable.
    – Mitch
    Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 14:35
  • 1
    The Macquarie Pocket Dictionary has 'thankyou' listed. I was surprised but still don't think I'll be using it.
    – user97227
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 6:11

4 Answers 4


Thank you is a sentence. If you want to use one word, thanks is acceptable. However, thankyou is not acceptable as a single word.

  • 3
    it's inconsistent though: goodbye is one word while thankyou is not. Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 9:21
  • 1
    @Rob Goodbye should be four words, but obviously that wouldn’t work so well. Unlike thank you, which is still quite transparently two separate words, “(I) thank” [a verb] and “you” [the object of the verb], goodbye is by now an unanalysable unit that cannot be split up, unless you prefer to write it ‘etymologically’ as go(o)d b [ ] ye. I would seriously advise against doing that. Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 16:11

No, thankyou is not an aberration. It just has a different definition.

  • thank you (verb to thank, direct object you) — this is how you say thank you. Essentially short for "I thank you".
  • thank-you or thankyou (noun) — an act of thanking. As in: "He gave a big thankyou for..."; "There were thank-yous all around".
  • thank-you or thankyou (modifier before a noun) — as in "a thankyou card".

For the noun and modifier forms, most dictionaries seem to prefer the hyphenated thank-you, but also list thankyou as a valid alternative form.

Sources: Wiktionary, Dictionary.com.

But Merriam-Webster only lists the hyphenated form, not the single-word form.

  • 4
    Only wiktionary gives 'thankyou' as a possibility; that only reduces my trust in wiktionary rather than increase my acceptance of ..the non-hyphenated version of 'thank-you'.
    – Mitch
    Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 14:37
  • 2
    The Dictionary.com link is to its page for "thankyou". Also I have personally seen it written "thankyou" many times. Going from hyphenated to single-word is a valid path that many compound words have taken. I don't know when a common misspelling crosses the line to become a valid alternative form?
    – callum
    Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 14:50
  • 3
    That particular page at dictionary.com looks like it was created by an automatic process. Anyway, it could be adopted eventually, but in my (fairly loose) standard, it really looks like a mistake. It's hard...is 'wierd' acceptable? I think not, but I could be...mistaken.
    – Mitch
    Commented Aug 29, 2011 at 15:19
  • The Collins and Macmillan online dictionaries both have an entry for the single word.
    – tunny
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 7:11
  • @tunny this question was posted three years ago, so perhaps dictionaries have updated their entries. If callum and others are right, this means the answers which have gained the most upvotes are mistaken.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 10, 2014 at 8:27

Thankyou is not a word; hence unacceptable. Also it looks illiterate, because literate people know how to spell "thank you".

  • 8
    Still, highly literate Anglophones do make this mistake a lot!
    – Lisa
    Commented Aug 24, 2011 at 0:04

Languages evolve. There's no reason thankyou can't be a single word just like goodbye. Once enough people use it that way long enough, it will be added to the dictionaries as a legitimate form of a real word. I personally am doing my part to hasten this particular bit of English language evolution because I like the form better. Thankyou for listening!

  • I daresay you could find better examples than goodbye as parallels, since (as I just noted in my comment to simchona’s answer) there is actually a reason why goodbye and thank you should not really go down the same road—at least not just yet. Thus far, I’ll just thankgod for the fact that thankyou has not yet become accepted, ’cause I sure as hell don’t like it. Especially as a phrase. Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 16:16

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.