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Mustache vs. Moustache: Which Is Correct?

  • Mustache and moustache are both correct spellings of the same word.
  • Mustache is the most common spelling in the United States.
  • Moustache is used in other English-speaking countries.
  • Mustachio is usually spelled without an “o” in the first syllable, although in the UK it is commonly written as a plural: mustachios.

From the pencil mustache of John Waters to the bushy moustache of General Melchett, upper-lip hair comes in variety of styles. It also comes in two different spellings.

Mustache vs. Moustache: What’s the Difference?

The difference between a mustache and moustache is only in the variety of English that’s used to spell it. In American English, the preferred spelling is the one without the o—mustache—although moustache is sometimes used as well. An American might write something like this:

No matter how hard I try, I can’t grow a big mustache .

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In the United Kingdom, and in other parts of the world where English is more like the British variant than the American one, the preferred spelling is the one containing an o—moustache. A Brit might write:

I’m tired of grooming my moustache ; I think I’ll shave it off.

Occasionally, people use mustachios to refer to large or elaborate mustaches. It’s common to drop the s in the United States:

After five years of preparation, Peter is finally ready to enter the mustachio competition.

A common slang term for mustache is stache. In Australia, however, they call a moustache a mo, and we have this slang term to thank for the word Movember.


Mustache in the US

Your mustache should extend farther than the end of your lips, but to a reasonable degree.

In the beginning, Lyft drivers mounted big, furry mustaches to the fronts of their cars.

Moustache Outside the US

Over 50% of men across the UK struggle to grow a moustache , says a survey commissioned by ChilliSauce.

But he has unwittingly continued a proud tradition of fast bowlers with as strong moustaches as in-swinging yorkers, including New Zealand’s greatest ever bowler Sir Richard Hadlee.[/examples]

Mustachio Examples

Am I not denying other barbers the opportunity to cut my hair, shave my chin, and perhaps clip my mustachio ?

The tears ran down his cheeks, and the drops hung on his mustachios – but not a muscle was distorted.

Mustache is not the only word that’s spelled differently in American English and British English. Some words lose an u in American English, like color; others lose an l, like canceled; and there are those spellings, like cheque, which are very different in American English.

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