Language Rules

Definately Fixing Alot Of Americas Grammar 1 Word At A Thyme

Supposedly Supposably Is Merely Supposition

with 5 comments

Okay, I’ll keep this one short and sweet too: Supposably is not a word. Never has been, probably never will be. Sure, supposable is a word, as is its root, suppose. The kicker, though, is that the word most people are shooting for – supposedly, referring to “what is generally assumed or believed,” according to OED – when they say supposably is actually a word, while the latter bastard child of poor grammar isn’t.

The next time you’re about to whip out supposably, don’t. It doesn’t exist.

Written by benferguson

2006 Dec 4 at 10:39

5 Responses

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  1. It’s in Merriam-Webster. It’s clear what it means. It pretty hard to argue that it’s not a word.


    2007 Feb 7 at 12:51

  2. er, that should have been “Amerian Heritage Dictionary”, although it’s in Merriam-Webster as well


    2007 Feb 7 at 12:53

  3. Yes, I just found out this today, but alas – supposably IS A WORD, but it is never the word that people intend when they use it!!


    2007 Sep 11 at 13:18

  4. Since there are a great many english speakers in the entire world who are NOT in the US, we must safely assume that for a majority of the english-speaking world “supposably” is not a word:

    “Supposedly” is the standard form. “Supposably” can be used only when the meaning is “capable of being supposed,” and then only in the U.S.

    Stella Stapleton

    2008 Mar 13 at 13:00


    ariane besoro

    2011 Nov 16 at 09:19

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