Purely out of curiosity: loth/loath

This is the place to post questions and discussions on usage and style. The members of the Wordwizard Clubhouse will also often be able to help you to formulate that difficult letter.
Post Reply

Purely out of curiosity: loth/loath

Post by Phil White » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:52 pm

"I am loth/loath to lend him any more money."

Both spellings are accepted in most dictionaries, and "loath" seems vastly more common in the US, whereas it is only very significantly more common in the UK.

For no reason other than idle curiosity, which spelling would you use? Personally, I have always used "loth" (which has incidentally just sprouted a squiggly red line as I type - UK spellchecker).
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Re: Purely out of curiosity: loth/loath

Post by Bobinwales » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:22 pm

I tend to use 'loathe', but as for the squiggle, remember that although our UK spellcheckers are correct most of the time they are set up by people who speak, and spell, American English. I often wonder what happens with French, German etc. spellcheckers.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: Purely out of curiosity: loth/loath

Post by trolley » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:44 am

I'd write it as loath (rhymes with "both"). I always read Bob's
example with a different pronunciation and a different meaning.
Last edited by trolley on Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Re: Purely out of curiosity: loth/loath

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:46 am

I spell the adjective loth, though like Phil, I've also seen it spelled loath. However, I have no particular feeling of attachment to loth. The online Merriam-Webster describes it as "[a] less common spelling of LOTH", and most of the other dictionaries I looked at take a similar view.

(The not unrelated verb, of course, is spelled loathe.)
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Re: Purely out of curiosity: loth/loath

Post by Bobinwales » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:59 pm

Erik_Kowal wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:46 am
(The not unrelated verb, of course, is spelled loathe.)
All those years. It doesn't half make you feel a twit!
I suppose all I can say is, "Never again!".
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: Purely out of curiosity: loth/loath

Post by tony h » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:06 pm

Bobinwales wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:59 pm
It doesn't half make you feel a twit!
I am loath to say it but, if you are going to, make sure you have the twit's permission in writing.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS
Signature: tony

I'm puzzled therefore I think.

ACCESS_END_OF_TOPIC
Post Reply