I see we have a tag for . Board policy is to use American spelling. Being a non-native I assume this should be ?

I'm posting this as a question/discussion rather than to the synonyms thread, as I'm not entirely sure on the exact American spelling. Perhaps a hyphen would also be better (ie. "gray water") rather than one combined word.

2 Answers 2


It should be a combined word, not hyphenated or with spaces.

I've seen greywater used in many American contexts. (Not sure if it is used more often than graywater.)

E.g. New Mexico State University: Safe Use of Household Greywater; Washington State Department of Health; Massachusetts DEP; etc.

There's no real consistency -- it's spelled both ways on EPA's site, for example. (They also spell it with spaces sometimes.)

Bottom line: it's a gray area, I don't think it matters much...

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

  • Fair enough. Perhaps add synonyms when/if we need them at a future date
    – winwaed
    Nov 12, 2011 at 3:05
  • 1
    graywater -> greywater are currently synonymous in the system...we can/will add grey-water and gray-water if/when they come up
    – wax eagle
    Nov 14, 2011 at 15:11
  • Good helpful & detailed answer; the term 'greywater' is seen in the literature, so retaining it as a synonym seems appropriate
    – M H
    Nov 6, 2020 at 4:57

For this kind of thing (also lawnmower vs. lawn-mower) I do a quoted Google search and declare the one with more hits the winner. I'm sure there are exceptions where this leads astray (a certain Republican presidential candidate comes to mind), but it's usually a good indicator.

  • To clarify (and I should have done the same, above); when I referred to a hyphen, I meant a hyphen in the tag. We have been using hyphens to separate the individual words in a multi-word tag.
    – winwaed
    Nov 15, 2011 at 20:23
  • Understood. I was suggesting using Google as an arbiter for tag spelling, including multi-word versus multiword. -Ed
    – Ed Staub
    Nov 15, 2011 at 20:28

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