• What roots does the word paradice have?
  • Why has it been changed to paradise and since when?
  • Are there any other English words that had such a transformation?
  • Understand first off that many words use a different choice of C and S in the US vs England.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 12, 2020 at 22:56
  • @HotLicks That has nothing to do with this one; vide infra.
    – tchrist
    Dec 13, 2020 at 0:03

2 Answers 2


Paradise was sometimes spelled with a C in Middle English, though it usually was spelled with S:

I wold not be in a folis paradyce. (Paston, 1462)

The S spelling was favored probably because of the etymology: both of its predecessors, Old French paradis and Latin paradīsus, are spelled with an S.

The time frame makes the reasoning behind the spelling pretty simple: spelling in Middle English wasn’t standardized, and the letters S and C both represent the same sound and were interchanged in many Middle English words. (It’s easy to find examples.) Looking at another word, spice, what is a C in Modern English could be a C, S, or even SC in the word in Middle English.

(Spice is also a word showing that the letters weren’t completely interchangeable. Cp- was not a valid onset spelling even in Middle English so you don’t find it ever spelled cpice or similar.)

  • thank you Laurel, very sharp-witted answer
    – Erdinc Ay
    Dec 14, 2020 at 16:17


If you want to know the derivation of a word, etymonline.com is an excellent source.

paradise (n.)

late Old English, "the garden of Eden," from Old French paradis "paradise, garden of Eden" (11c.), from Late Latin paradisus "a park, an orchard; the garden of Eden



As far as I can tell, "paradice" was briefly an alternative spelling around the 1600s when English was undergoing a lot of change. Also, at that time there was no universal agreement on spelling.

Google nGram: paradice,paradise

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Google nGram: paradice,paradise

You may be interested in researching further into the history of English spelling

History of English spelling

Printing adds to the muddle

William Caxton first set up in business as a printer in Bruges (now in Belgium). There in 1473 he made the first printed book in English, the Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye. Caxton returned to England in 1476 and set up a press in Westminster. The first book known to have been printed there was Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Caxton's spelling was based on the Chancery Standard, to which he added his own variants. Sadly, though printing brought many advantages, it also added to the irregularity of the spelling system. The printers Caxton brought with him from the Low Countries were unused to the English language and made spelling errors, eg any, busy, citie for eny, bisy, cittie.

The early dictionary writers

By the end of the 16th century, the uncertain and variable state of English spelling led to calls for its control. The first person to write a book of correct spelling in Early Modern English was Richard Mulcaster, first headmaster of Merchant Taylors' School, and later High Master of St Paul's School, both in London, who published The first Part of the Elementarie in 1582. The English Spelling Society

  • thank you for the sources provided, I liked that very much, but the other answer had that historical information that was important to understand the whole topic at once, whilst yours is giving me a method to verification of usages, I liked both, but settled on the point that the historical information of the other answer is harder or nearly impossible to find if you do not know what to search for on the internet, and that therefore that information would be more benefitial for all
    – Erdinc Ay
    Dec 14, 2020 at 16:14

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