Blog/Grammar tips
4 August 2022
5 min read

Granddad, Grandad and Granddaughter

Granddad, Grandad and Granddaughter: Figuring out the correct spellings

Granddad, Grandad and Granddaughter: The Correct Spellings

How many "D's are in "granddad?" Is "grandad" the correct spelling? How does the word "granddaughter" have double "D"s when "grandson" does not? 

We feel you! Spellings of almost similar English words can create all kinds of confusion. For example, it's a little tricky to remember the correct spellings of granddad, grandad and granddaughter. Well, we've gathered all the information to clear your doubts and help you find the right answers.    

Granddad, Grandad and Granddaughter: Figuring out the Correct Spellings

Remembering similar words like "grandmother," "grandma", or "grandson" is relatively easier because they contain only one "D." But this is not the case with "granddad," "grandad", and "granddaughter." The number of "D"s may change depending on personal preferences or the version of the English language you are using. 

Let's dig deeper and see which ones are the correct spellings.

Granddad or Grandad: The correct spelling

If you open Oxford or any other dictionary, you will see that both "granddad" and "grandad" are correct spellings. The words mean the father of a parent (father or mother). For example:

  • Your granddad will visit us before Thanksgiving.
  • Your grandad will visit us before Thanksgiving. 

While the use of double or single "D" is mostly a matter of personal preference, that choice is influenced by the English language variety you speak or write in. 

"Grandad" (with a single d) is prevalent mainly in British English, and the older generations have a knack for using it. However, they also use granddad and other variations of the word, such as grandpa and grampa. 

On the other hand, "granddad" is more common in American English. So, change the spellings in your writing depending on where you or your readers live. 

The arguments for "Granddad"

However, some people may argue that the only correct spelling is "granddad", and they have some pretty sound logic. 

According to the argument, the double "D" form is the correct one because the original word is "grandfather", consisting of "grand" and "father." By that logic, it should be "granddad" as "dad" would replace "father." 

Also, "grand" is a complete word by itself, so omitting one "D" means the two syllables will be:

  • Gran + Dad
  • Grand + Ad

These syllables don't make sense, do they? 

Another argument is that "granddad" is the masculine gender of "grandma," which is the combination of "grand" and "ma." In that line, the opposite gender of "grandma" should be combined with "grand" and "dad", not "grand" and "ad." 

The third argument is you cannot omit the "D" from "grandpa." The word "granpa" is grammatically incorrect, which means you cannot replace the "grand" part with "gran." If you think this way, the word "grandad" (a combination of "gran" and "dad") appears grammatically wrong.

So, the correct spelling is…

Both "granddad" and "grandad" are acceptable in US and UK English. It's a spelling variation similar to "color/colour" and "favor/favour" rather than a spelling mistake.

Is "Grand-dad" the correct spelling?

To avoid the confusion with single and double "D"s, some people suggest the spelling "grand-dad"—with a hyphen. 

It's an unusual way of spelling the word. You are unlikely to see its use because the hyphen is entirely unnecessary here. And people won't add an extra element to a word if it's needless. 

Although the use of the hyphen seems ridiculous here, it's not a grammatical mistake. Take the word "grandparent" as an example. We can consider the word "grand" as a prefix here since it indicates the "parent" in the word as someone older than our parents. 

So, using a hyphen in "grand-dad" does not appear to be incorrect since it joins the prefix "grand" with the word "dad." 

However, the use of the hyphen still does not look or feel natural because we don't spell the words "grandma" or "grandson" as "grand-ma" or "grand-son."

  • I will buy a present for my granddad.
  • I will buy a present from my grand-dad.

The words in both examples are correct, but "grand-dad" looks unnatural. It just complicates an otherwise simple word.

Granddaughter or Grandaughter?

Another common spelling confusion is determining the correct option between "granddaughter" and "grandaughter." The word refers to a female grandchild.

Since "grandad" is an acceptable and correct spelling, some people apply the same logic to "granddaughter" and spell it as "grandaughter."

However, the word will always have double "D"s, which means the only correct spelling is "granddaughter." For example:

  • Our granddaughter starts preschool today. (Correct)
  • Our grandaughter starts preschool today. (Incorrect)

It may seem illogical because the word "grandad" is correct without using two "D"s. The same rule should work for "granddaughter", right? Well, the English language has a fair share of irregularities. So, similar spelling rules won't apply to two words even if they are homographs. 

Remember that the only correct spelling of the word is "granddaughter," having two "D"s.

Wrap-up: Granddad, Grandad and Granddaughter

So, what we've found from the above discussion are:

Both granddad and grandad are grammatically correct words.

British people mostly use "grandad", but many also use "granddad."

Americans prefer to use "granddad" with double "D"s.

The appropriate spelling for a female grandchild is "granddaughter," featuring two "D"s.

FAQs About Granddad, Grandad and Granddaughter

How many D's are in "granddad?"

The correct spelling for the word is "granddad" with two "D"s. It's the most prevalent spelling in American English, but British people use the words "granddad" and "grandad." 

The Google NGram data show that people prefer "grandad" more than "granddad" in UK English, but the trend is the opposite in American English. So, it seems to be a matter of personal preference instead of grammatical accuracy.  

Is Grandad Double D?

No, the word "grandad" includes one "D." People in England, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand use this word as a synonym for "grandfather."

What's the difference between grandad and grandpa?

The meaning of both words is the same. They are the informal variations of the word "grandfather." British people favour the word "grandad", and about 68% of them use it to call their grandfather, according to a survey. 

It seems that most Americans like to call their grandfather "papa" or "pop", but they also use the word "grandpa" in speech. 

Which is correct: granddaughter or grandaughter?

The correct spelling, in this case, is "granddaughter." Many people omit one "D" in writing because the word's pronunciation keeps one "D" silent. 

  • American pronunciation: gran·daa·tr
  • British pronunciation: gran·daw·tuh

However, the word should always have a "D" between the syllables "gran" and "daughter."

  • Correct spelling: Gran-d-daughter
  • Wrong spelling: Gran-daughter

How is "Grandad" correctly spelt?

Both "grandad" and "granddad" are valid words, so both spellings are correct. People speaking British English used both words but with a preference for "grandad." American people mostly use "granddad" in writing. 

How do you spell "Grandad" and "Granny?"

The spellings are "grandad" and "granny," respectively. They are the informal versions of "grandfather" and "grandmother."

How do you spell granddaughter in Australia?

Despite slight pronunciation differences, the word's spelling is always "granddaughter" in all English language varieties. However, one "D" will be silent in the spoken form.

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