When tieing two things together, e.g:

Two distinct ideas, but with a common theme tieing them together

Tieing shoe laces is easy.

I have always spelt it with an ie. Now I am being told by Microsoft Word that my spelling is incorrect and should use a y. Google seems to largely agree with Word... one of the top hits is this forum thread:

tieing instead of tying

which in summary, is the same question as I am, but without the bias I have. The answers all seem to suggest that everyone thinks the ie spelling is valid but weird.

I thought I would ask the experts...

  • Is there any distinction?
  • Is it possible that the ie is a UK spelling and y is US?
  • Ngram does find uses of "tieing", peaking around 1950. Looking at the "hits", one gets the impression that the spelling is used mostly in special cases -- packaging, mechanics, etc.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 0:55
  • 1
    This Ngram graph plotting the frequency of occurrence of "tying" (blue line) versus "tieing" (red line) for 1800–2008 suggests that tying is far more common. The difference between the results for the British English corpus ...
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 0:56
  • ...and the results for the American corpus appears to be negligible.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 0:56
  • 3
    didn't know about that corpus tool, its great... thanks! okay, so basically it's true... I'm spelling it wrong.
    – Mark Ch
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 1:23
  • 4
    SEE ALSO die > dying, lie > lying, vie > vying
    – tchrist
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 4:02

1 Answer 1


There is no entry in the Oxford English dictionary for tieing in American or British English. https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/spellcheck/english/?q=tieing Although tieing does (as shown in the Ngram graph cited by Sven Yargs above) exist as a rare alternative spelling it is not recognized by dictionaries. In the oxford dictionary's entry for tying there is no mention of the alternative "tieing".

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