21

What is the correct spelling, dammit or damnit? And what is the difference?

Just writing this question brings up a red squiggly underneath damnit and the suggestions include dammit and damn it.

closed as general reference by cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, tchrist, user11550, MetaEd, FumbleFingers Aug 31 '12 at 2:20

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Nobody (as far as I know) pronounces the 'n' in damnit, whereas the 'n' is pronounced in words like damnation and hymnal. So dammit is a more phonetic spelling. – Peter Shor Aug 23 '12 at 15:29
24

The usage stats from the British National Corpus (BNC) look as follows:

            ALL SPOKEN FICTION MAGAZINE NEWSPAPER ACADEMIC NON-ACAD MISC

dammit      125    3      99       3        8        0         7      5
damnit        no results
damn it     158   12     137       1        1        0         2      5

And here are the stats from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA):

            ALL SPOKEN FICTION MAGAZINE NEWSPAPER ACADEMIC

dammit      763   20     647      60       30        6    
damnit       94    2      86       6        0        0
damn it    1307   83    1112      58       36       18

The Corpus of Historical American English (COHA) paints the following picture:

Damnit vs. dammit vs. damn it vs. darn it

(X axis: year, Y axis: incidences per million words)

  • 6
    Geez, what happened in 1930- ohhhhhhh... – Captain Hypertext Nov 5 '16 at 3:25
  • Damnit, why are there charts – DomenicDatti Apr 11 '18 at 12:46
9

Damnit could be used, though you're better off with "dammit" or "damn it". As per Wiktionary:

damnit
Nonstandard contraction of damn +‎ it
Interjection (especially southern US)
Common misspelling of dammit.

Edit: As my answer points out, "damnit" is considered a misspelling of the more popular "dammit", which confirms ЯegDwight♦'s data.

  • 6
    I really, really wonder who decides which is the correct spelling of such words and which is not. – SF. Aug 23 '12 at 15:00
  • 2
    @SF. I originally had "correct" with quotes. As you know, correct English is decided upon by its use. People use "dammit", as well, so I wouldn't call the other "wrong". It looks like a matter of preference/style. – Zairja Aug 23 '12 at 15:05
  • @Zairja Off topic- I don't understand the downvoting of valid or valiant answers either so I upvoted you. – mikeY Aug 23 '12 at 21:20
  • My book editor corrected all of my dammit spellings to damnit. I corrected his correction. – Matt H Jul 17 '15 at 4:17

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