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Is the Correct Spelling Labeled or Labelled?

Labeled or labelled?

Labeled and labelled are different spellings of the same word and action meaning, “to fix a label on something or write information on something”.

Labelled (or labelled) also has a nonliteral definition; i.e., “to describe somebody/something in a particular way, especially unfairly”.



Labelled vs. labeled (US vs. UK English)

Like a select number of English verbs, the past tense and present participle form of label has two spelling preferences based on UK or US English writing conventions:


  • UK English spells “labelled” and labelling with two L’s.


  • US English spells “labeled” and labeling with one L.


Other verb forms of “label” follow the same pattern; i.e., the present participle, labelling/labeling.



Other verbs with different UK/US English spelling

similar to labelled and labeled, there are other words that follow the same spelling pattern between US and UK English preferences. For example, modelled and modelling are spelled with two L’s in UK English, but only use a single L in US spelling.


UK EnglishUS English
travelling, travelledtraveling, travelled
modelling, modelledmodeling, modeled
labelling, labelledlabeling, labeled
cancelling, cancelledcanceling, canceled
Verbs UK/US English spelling differences.



Sentences with labelled/labeled

She had automatically labelled/labeled the boys as troublemakers.

She was falsely labelled/labeled a liar.

Make sure that your luggage is clearly labelled/labeled.

The file was labelled/labeled ‘Private’.

Every box needs to be labelled/labeled before it goes into storage.



Sentences with labeled (and labelled) in the media

Scribbled in a strange, unfamiliar language and a strange, unfamiliar script, the text’s linguistic system is sometimes labeled as Voynichese.


—Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 31 Jan. 2024

West African food has been labeled the next trend by media for years, and fast-casual innovations like ChopnBlok in Houston or Spice Kitchen in Brentwood, Md., have only accelerated that notion.


—Gabe Hiatt, Washington Post, 23 Jan. 2024

Wines will be labeled with only the name of the cru, not the surrounding village.


—Mike Desimone and Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 31 Jan. 2024

I manoeuvred my way among the tables to the back corner of the place, where I found a door labelled `Men”.


—Tapply, William G. A Rodent of Doubt (2002)

They brought flowers and a bottle of Bollinger in ice, the bucket being a bag labelled ` Laundry ‘.


—Anita Anderson, Somedody (2002)

Hollywood is like a really sad, grown up version of high school where people get labelled as ‘cool,’ ‘not cool,’ ‘jock,’ ‘bombshell,’ ‘quirky’… it’s like a caste system. You’re either in, or you’re out.


Zoe Kravitz



Synonyms of label

As in, to describe or categorize with a term or word:


  • tag
  • identify
  • mark
  • categorized
  • defined
  • designated
  • tagged
  • characterized
  • classified
  • ticketed



Phrases with label

  • white label
  • off-label
  • own-label
  • designer label
  • care label



Origin of the word label

From etymonline on label:


c. 1300, “narrow band or strip of cloth” (oldest use is as a technical term in heraldry), from Old French labellambellabeau “ribbon, fringe worn on clothes”.



Learn more about US English vs. UK English

Commonly misused wordsUK English vs. US English
former vs. latterburned or burnt?
bear with vs. bare withcolor or colour?
breathe or breathfavorite vs. favourite
compliment vs. complementsmelled or smelt?
effect vs. affectgray or grey?
elude or alludefavor vs. favour
it’s or itsanalyze or analyse?



Sources

  1. Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of label.” Online Etymology Dictionary, Accessed 18 February, 2024.
  2. Wikipedia contributors. “Zoë Kravitz.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 18 Feb. 2024. Web. 18 Feb. 2024.


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