The two variant spellings of the word Mustache/Moustache has been a subject of debate for some time. Two different spellings meaning the same thing. The question is why? And where does this word derive from.
The word derives from the Italian Word ‘Mosstacio ‘or plural Mostacci specifically meaning a long elaborate plot of facial hair growing on the upper lip. The word then further dates back etymologically to other variations including ancient Greek (mustaks, upper lip”) and Late Latin ‘mustaceus.” But despite the evolution of the word itself. In the end we are left with two English Spellings that seem to be in a stalemate.
The Spelling of the word ‘Mustache’ minus the “o” is often viewed as the American English version of the word ; Whereas the spelling ‘Moustache’ adding the “o” is considered the UK version.
In the most recent years it seems the American version is starting to gain some ground in the UK. The reason for this is due mostly to a preference for the American version in search results. Despite this slight gain of the American English version, both words mean the same thing “A plot of hair growing on the upper lip” and can be used interchangeably.
The debate between which is more correct “Mustache” and “Moustache” may continue for years or centuries to come. In the far future, it is even possible we call it something else completely. Though for now we can all agree on one thing! Whether it’s a missing “o” or a an added “o” It is always safe just to call it a “Stache”
Boston Beard Works - author
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