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Is there a preferred spelling for the word "leaderboard"? Should it be one word or two? It would seem that both are correct, but is either preferred?

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  • If you are referring to "leaderboard ads" (780 X 90 pixels), I've only ever seen it spelled as one word. (Google leaderboard ad.)
    – JLG
    Jan 8, 2013 at 15:25
  • I wasn't but that is interesting. I was thinking of a board with leaders on it. Jan 8, 2013 at 17:18
  • Whichever way the PGA spells it.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 9, 2016 at 23:46
  • Do you prefer AHD or Collins? CED or Lexico? USA TODAY or the Houston Chronicle? Forbes or the Sunday Times? PC Mag or The Sun? Apr 8 at 16:14

2 Answers 2

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If I look up leaderboard as one word in OED, it returns a reference to leader board as two words, which I suppose says something about which they think is correct!

Searching the corpora yields 13 instances without a space in the British National Corpus (BNC) against nine with a space; and in the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) it's 82 without versus 90 with. [I think; I'm not all that familiar with those tools]

I would say those results are inconclusive.

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  • What does the term mean? A Google search suggests that it's "leaderboard" and just a list of the top ten or twenty players in a golf tournament. But if you go to some of the sites, they spell it "Leader Board". I'd say that there is no correct spelling. Just pretend it's loose for lose and it's for its and you'll be fine: IOW, accept what you see and spell it as you like and no one will be the wiser, nor will anyone be able to complain that you've spelled it incorrectly. As a kicker, you can always claim that Jane Austen spelled it the way you do. That usually does the trick.
    – user21497
    Jan 8, 2013 at 11:20
  • That's certainly the usage in the corpora.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jan 8, 2013 at 11:26
  • This site uses one word, FWIW.
    – J.R.
    Jan 8, 2013 at 14:17
  • Inconclusive? 82 - 90 seems a reasonable sample, so I'd say 'spelling variant optional' rather than 'results inconclusive'. Apr 8 at 16:22
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A board by any other name:

It's really no different than blackboard. Inevitably, "leaderboard" will become increasingly more formally accepted.

If in doubt:

If in doubt, I'd hyphenate the two words:

leader-board

...or...

Leader-Board

Purpose of one-word usage:

From the usage I've seen online, the advantage of the one-word variant is concision when used as a (or part of a) title.

E.g.

  1. URL structures: www.test.com/leaderboard
  2. Link text: My Leaderboard
  3. Title: Masters Tournament Leaderboard

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