Excuse my stupid question, but do "favorite" and "favourite" mean the same thing?

4 Answers 4


They have the same meaning, but favourite is used in British English, Australian English, New Zealand English and Canadian English whereas favorite is used in American English.


It's not a stupid question. No single person knows everything.

The "ou" is a common British spelling, whereas in American English, we simply use the "o." For example:

  • favourite vs. favorite
  • colour vs. color
  • labour vs. labor
  • honour vs. honor

..and so on.

  • 4
    +1. For further reading, see American and British English spelling differences on Wikipedia.
    – Jonik
    Nov 22, 2010 at 21:27
  • if colour and color are the same then, why is it so, that when we are designing a webpage on NotePad, the web browser (could be any) does not accept 'bgcolour'?
    – Logophile
    Feb 12, 2011 at 12:31
  • 1
    Because Tim Berners Lee wanted to separate content from form? Feb 13, 2011 at 0:54

Yes, they mean the same thing. From Wiktionary's entry on favorite:


Alternative forms

  • (Commonwealth English) favourite

They are two different spellings for the same word: favorite is used in American English, favourite in all other varieties of English.

The same also goes for words such as behaviour/behavior, colour/color, etc. In these case, the -u- can be left out because it's silent, the same however cannot be said for other words like pour and devour, which do not become por and devor, because spelling them like this would also alter their pronunciation.

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