Neighbour and Neighbor are two words that have the same meaning, and also the same pronunciation. They mean a person or group of people living very near to the person who is referred to in the sentence. It can be used in two ways:
Neighbor vs Neighbour
The main difference between Neighbor and Neighbour is the way they are written or spelt. Neighbor is used in American English whereas Neighbour is used in British English. The difference between the two exists because of a crucial historic event i.e The Great War between the Americans and the British.
Neighbor/neighbour as a noun– A person living next door Example- My neighbours hosted a party yesterday.
Neighbor/neighbour as a verb– When two objects are or places are placed near one another they neighbour each other.
Example- The mall neighbours my house.
The spelling difference also includes words such as neighborly/neighbourly, neighborhood/neighbourhood, neighboring/neighbouring and neighbored/neighboured.
Comparison Table Between Neighbor and Neighbour (in Tabular Form)
|Parameter of Comparison||Neighbor||Neighbour|
|Origin||This word originated in America.||This word originated in Great Britain.|
|Spelling||It does not have a ‘u’ in it.||It has a ‘u’ in it.|
|Existence||It came into existence after the word “neighbour”.||It came into existence before the word “neighbor”|
|Usage||It is used mainly by Americans.||It is used mainly by the British.|
|Formation||It was formed by the Americans after the Great War with the British because they wanted to create their own spellings different from those of the British.||It was formed to describe a person living nearby/next door.|
What is Neighbor?
Neighbor is a person living extremely close (often next door) to another person. It means the same as the word “neighbour”.
In order to understand the concept of the word ‘neighbor’ we must have a look at the crucial historic war between the Americans and the British. After gaining independence from the British, the Americans preferred changing most of the things.
They wanted to have their own unique identity as a different country. They changed quite a few things in order to be different from the British such as the official architecture, spellings used by the British and many more things. They did so because they wanted to be free and different from their war enemy.
The person who changed the older British words and formed American words was Noah Webster who was a famous American lexicographer. The first American dictionary was written by him in 1828. It was known as “An American Dictionary of the English Language.” Most of the American words which are different from the British words were written by him in this book. Neighbor is an example of such words.
They removed a ‘u’ from the original word ‘neighbour’ and created a shorter version ‘neighbor’. However, both mean the same and are also pronounced in the same way.
What is Neighbour?
The word for a person who lives near you mostly next door is Neighbour.
The dictionary meaning of the word neighbour may be:
- “Someone who lives next to or near another person”;
- “A place, a person, or a thing located near or adjacent to another”;
- “A fellow human.”
It may also be used as a verb. When places or things lay near or next to one another, they neighbour each other.
- Our neighbour is very kind-hearted.
- China is our neighbouring country.
- The cake shop neighbours our house.
Neighbour is the original word found in British English and is used in all the English-speaking countries such as Canada, Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, Ireland and so on. However, it is not used by the Americans who have changed its spelling by removing ‘u’ from the word and creating their own word “neighbor” which means the same as neighbour. It is even pronounced in the same way.
Main Differences Between Neighbor and Neighbour
- The word neighbor is mainly used by Americans. Neighbour is used by the British and the people preferring British English.
- The words are spelt differently as neighbor does not have a ‘u’ in it whereas neighbour is spelt with the letter ‘u’ in it.
- ‘Neighbor’ was brought into existence after the word ‘neighbour’. Neighbour existed before the existence of the word neighbor.
- The word neighbor originated in America. On the other hand, neighbour originated in Great Britain.
- The word ‘neighbor’ was created by the Americans due to a major historic event i.e The Great War between the Americans and the British. Upon gaining freedom from the British, the Americans wanted to change many things which they had got from the British. They wanted to be a unique country different from the British. Hence they changed the spelling and formed their own word having the same meaning. ‘Neighbour’ was a simple English word created by the British to describe someone living nearby or next door.
Neighbor and Neighbour are both same words having the same meaning and same pronunciation. The only difference lies in the way of how they are spelt or written. British spell it with a fourth vowel ‘u’ in it. On the other hand, Americans have excluded the letter ‘u’ and created their own word meaning the same.
All neighbor/neighbour related words can be written with or without ‘u’ in it. None of them is incorrect.
After the Great War, British and Americans have a different vocabulary, different accent, different grammar and many things. There are numerous minor spelling differences between American and British English. The famous American Lexicographer Noah Webster is responsible for this. He wrote the book “An American Dictionary of the English Language” which contains many words differentiated from British English. Neighbor is an example of such words.
British and American English have much more resemblance than differences. One could say that the difference between American and British English is mostly overemphasized. If one can understand one way, they should be able to understand the other way too.