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The name Jacuzzi is a trademark name for whirlpool/spa/hot tub/etc.

jelly, jello or Jell-O?

In British English (and throughout the rest of the Commonwealth) jelly is the name of the wobbly dessert. In the US, this same dessert is called jello. The spelling Jell-O should be reserved for the trademark brand. Jelly in US English means a particular type of thin jam (often without seeds).

jewellery or jewelry, jeweller or jeweler?

See jewellery or jewelry?

jimmy or jemmy?

The spelling is jemmy is the US and Canada, and jimmy in Britain and Australia.

judgement or judgment?

The preferred British spelling is actually with an -e-, though it often appears without it. The only American form is judgment, whereas the British variants do differ in usage. Judgement is the common spelling and judgment only applies to final decisions made made by a judge. This distinction is not made in American English, which seems to have crept into ever increasing usage also in the UK.

judgement call

By all means, make a judgement, but there is no need to add another, superfluous word to the end of it.

just deserts

The phrase just deserts is spelt with one only one -s-, unless you are skipping the main meal and only having dessert.


This page last updated: 15 November 2014

Jesse Karjalainen is the author of The Joy of English: 100 conversations about the English Language, Cannibal – the language and history of the discovery of the New World, and Roanoke – the language and history of Early Colonial America.