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Moustache vs. Mustache

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  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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Human men have hair on their faces. Some men style their facial hair in fashionable ways. Other men grow their hair into long, unruly tangles, which is also sometimes fashionable. Fortunately, just as there are several styles of facial hair, there are many words to describe facial hair. Hair grown below the chin is a beard. Hair grown on the sides of the face is called sideburns, or colloquially, mutton chops. Hair grown on the upper lip is called a mustache. This word has two variants with which this article will be concerned. One is moustache. The other is mustachio. If you are a fashion journalist bent on accurately documenting the facial hair sported by the most stylish men of your generation, you will need know the difference between these words. If you aren’t a fashion journalist, you might still be curious. Which word most accurately describes the many styles of facial hair grown on the upper lip? Read on to find out.

In this article, I will compare moustache vs. mustache. I’ll use each in a sentence, and I’ll also give you a helpful trick to remember whether to use moustache or mustache in your writing.


The word moustache originated from late 16th century: from French, from Italian mostaccio, from Greek mustax, mustak-.

Mustache as noun:

The word moustache is used as a noun in English language where it refers to a strip of hair left to grow above the upper lip.

The Prime Minister’s bushy moustache was full of milk and biscuit crumbs.

Use of moustache:

The spellings moustache with a ‘u’ are used in British English. It has been the preferred variant since the mid-19th century.


Many thought some moustaches made their owners look like porn stars. [Chronicle Herald (Canada)]

Moustache vs. Mustache

Outside, the moustached Mr Osbourne is still separated from the door by at least 100 people.  [Independent]

It is tempting to think that the majority of this material is of the lame-storyline, large-moustache, Vaseline-lens variety. [Sydney Morning Herald]

Use of mustache:

Mustache carries the same meaning as moustache. It is primarily used in American English, and has been since at least the mid-20th century.


Lovell plotted to make Hitler’s mustache fall off and his voice turn soprano by injecting female hormones into the vegetables der Fuehrer ate. [Washington Post]

And of course there was my dad, a cop with a Tom Selleck mustache. [New York Times]

So I trained solo with Raul, my regal, mustached instructor, who on day one greeted me with a hearty “hola” and a nod to follow him through the stables. [Wall Street Journal]

Moustache or mustache:

Moustache and mustache all describe hair grown on the upper lip. Mustache describes a mustache in communities where American English is spoken. Moustache is used in British English communities. You can remember to use moustache in British English by keeping in mind that moustache and London are both spelled with an O. Otherwise, this article can serve as a helpful reminder if you are having trouble choosing moustache, mustache, or mustachio.

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