Confused between the correct spelling, flyer, or flier? Well, you are not alone. We are all in this together. Spell-checking software marks one spelling or the other making us even more confused and leaving us wondering where we went wrong.
There are many words in the English dictionary with two different spellings, and it becomes confusing at times to understand if it is just because of that or if we have made a mistake. But publishers generally accept both spellings in these cases.
Both the spellings have their use in American and British English, and their meanings can be interchanged with meaning use.
Definition and Use
Cambridge Dictionary defines flyer as “a small piece of paper with information on it about a product or event.” It explains the flier as the US spelling of the flyer.
Oxford Dictionary defines it as:
- A person who flies an aircraft (usually a small one, not a passenger plane).
- A person who travels in a plane as a passenger.
- A person who operates something such as a model aircraft or a kite from the ground.
- A thing, especially a bird or an insect, that flies in a particular way.
- A small sheet of paper that advertises a product or an event and is given to a large number of people.
- A person, an animal, or a vehicle that moves very quickly.
- A very fast start to a race, competition, etc.
Flyer is a noun that means brochure or pamphlet, a twist of the yarn, or one who flies. Like if a person is boarding a plane, that passenger can be called a flyer. Flier implies the same thing but excludes the use of twist of yarn. Both spellings are used to mean the same thing. If two different spellings are used in one topic, that does not mean they are meaning two different things.
Flyer is often used as idioms like “a high flyer” which means a person who is successful or someone who took a chance and the result was positive.
Flier is applied in phrases like taking a flier which means taking a risk. It is generally used when you are asking someone to take a risk or gamble for something.
British Vs. American Spelling
It is very well-known that the flyer is the British version of the word, and flier is the contemporary American counterpart. In many spell check software which has set their apps to the American setting, it will show flyer as a wrong spelling and many major publications use the spelling flier. And many British publications do the same for their version.
Both Oxford’s and Webster’s dictionaries, British and American, mention that both the spellings of flyer are used to describe a pamphlet, circular, or handbill that is passed around. The spelling flyer is generally used more.
Flyers Vs. Fliers
The two separate spellings have no prominent differences in usage. There are many different style guides, and they have their own preferences. So keep in mind what your organization prefers and work with that.
The noun flyer has several meanings and can be used in many ways.
- Frequent flyers are going to get travel points which they can redeem on their next flight.
- I am going to put out some flyers to let people know about my newly opened shop.
- It will help you find your dog faster if you put out some flyers.
Flyer is often used in idioms as well. For example, ‘he has built this entire empire on his own, he is quite a high flyer.’ here high flyer means a successful man who made his own fortune.
The word has the same meaning as a flyer and follows the same grammatical rule. There may be minor differences in usage and connotation, but these differences are fiercely contested in different guides. The biggest difference it has is that flyer is a tool used with a yarn, but flier is not.
- Flier miles can be a good incentive for passengers to choose our airline over others.
- Fliers are not an effective method for advertisement. They get wasted more often.
While using the phrase ‘take a flier’ the other spelling is never used.
To take a flier means taking a risk or taking a chance to see where it goes. For example:
- This is the last time I am supporting you. I am taking a flyer.
Let’s have a look at the synonyms of flyer.
Let’s look at the synonyms of flier now.
It is important to keep in mind the exact use of both words. It can be confusing at times to decide which spelling to use and where. But the above-given examples should help a little to clear the concept. Both the spellings mean the same thing but have different uses, and some exceptions are there as well.
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