Main Ax or Axe Takeaways:
- Ax and axe are both correct spellings. In fact, they are just different ways to spell the same word.
- The only difference between these words is regional. Ax (no ‘e’) is more common in the U.S., while British English-speaking countries prefer axe (with the ‘e’).
- The plural of both ax and axe is the same (axes).
- Ax or axe refers to a tool used for chopping or a musician’s instrument.
- Several popular idioms contain the word axe, including “get the axe” and “axe to grind.”
Could you say we’re cutting to the chase? Chopping down the myths? Helping you keep your mind sharp? Beyond a few ax puns, this article will give you a clear cut way to tell the difference between these two words and when you should use ax or axe.
Is Ax or Axe Correct?
Both ax and axe and correct. They are just different versions of the same word. As a result, ax and axe are pronounced the same way and mean the same thing. The only difference between them is regional. For example, ax (without the ‘e’) is more common in American publications and other works by American writers. Conversely, axe (with the ‘e’) is popular where British English is spoken. However, both spellings are accepted universally. It’s important to note that the plural forms of both words look the sam (axes).
How do you Spell Ax the Tool?
There are two valid and accepted ways to spell ax the tool. On one hand, ax (without the ‘e’) is more common in the U.S. On the other hand, axe (with an ‘e’) is more common in British English. You can spell the tool ax or axe.
The first example features the spelling more commonly used in the United States. The second example uses the axe spelling more frequently found in British English.
What is the Plural Form of Axe?
The plural form of the word axe is axes. You can also spell axe without the ‘e’ (ax), but the plural is still axes.
Ax or Ax Idioms
You can find ax or axe used quite frequently in idioms. Here are a fe common ones:
Ax Idiom # 1: Get the Axe
If someone or something is getting the ax, they’re getting fired or otherwise ended.
The same phrase could be used to indicate something that’s abruptly stopped, such as a performance.
Axe Idiom #2: Have an Axe to Grind
Having an axe to grind means having a strong personal opinion and/or ulterior motive. The person in question is likely doing something for an underlying reason.
It could also mean having a complaint that you want to discuss with the offender.
Ax or Axe Idiom #3: An Axe Hanging Over Something/Something
If something has an axe hanging over their head, they’re likely in danger of being fired.
The same phrase can be used to refer to something inanimate, such as a project.
The bottom line? The axe vs. ax debate isn’t that serious. Feel free to use either version. If you’re particularly concerned about aligning with local dialect, go with the spelling that’s more popular in your area.
So, is it axe or ax? Test Your Skills With This Quick Quiz
Ax vs. Axe Question #1
The answer is True. They're pronounced the same, and they have the same meaning.
Ax or Axe Question #2
The answer is AX. “Ax” is more common in American publications and other works by American writers.
Ax Question #3
The answer is B. “Ax” and “Axe” have the same plural form: “Axes.”
Axe Question #4
The answer is C. “Axe” refers to a long-handled chopping tool. It can also describe the action of cutting something or using the tool called an ax.
Ax Question #5
The answer is A. The sentence suggests that Jane is likely doing something for an underlying reason.