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Linguaholic

What happened to this word?


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When I was growing up I remember writing up things for school and using the word "cheque" then all of a sudden the word vanished and now it is "check." I'm referring to the piece of paper that banks allow you to order and you can fill out an amount, sign it and make payments - a "check." I was just wondering what has happened to the word "cheque," is it lost? I know I'm not going crazy but we used to use this word spelling all the time.

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I'm still using both words nowadays but I use "check" if I was asking for my bill at a restaurant and "cheque" for a bank cheque. I'm honestly not very sure how others use these words nowadays so I'm also interested to read their replies.

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Wow, I'd completely forgotten about that word, "cheque."

I've never actually used the word myself, nor have I heard anyone use it, either.

What's the difference between the two words?

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I'm still using both words nowadays but I use "check" if I was asking for my bill at a restaurant and "cheque" for a bank cheque. I'm honestly not very sure how others use these words nowadays so I'm also interested to read their replies.

I use check for the symbol or marking, check for the verb as in "to look in on and monitor, to be sure of a fact", and cheque for anything to do with money (such as a restaurant bill or a bank cheque--I use the word "cheque" for both.)

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As far as I know the word still exists, accoring to Wikipedia Cheque is simply the british usage, and Check is the American one.

Either way, cheques/checks are used so rarely nowadays that the word is almost never used... Because noone ever uses those things anymore, since there are almost always alternatives that are way better.

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The word "cheque" is still in used in the UK mainly by the older generation. I have an elderly aunt who still uses her "cheque book" on a regular basis. In fact my family members look forward to receiving a greetings card from our aunt as there is a personal cheque enclosed as a gift.

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I still happen to use the word 'cheque' and have never used the word 'check' to refer to the value of money. I use the British English which is a little different from American English and so it allows me to spell the word this way. It's funny though that when I type this word and  few others on my computer I have to keep ignoring the spell checks as they are set for the American spelling.

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Where I live (India), both words are used equally. However, I guess as "check" is more similar phonetically and easier to spell, it has been getting used a bit more than "cheque".

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I always thought that one was an English spelling and the other American with check being the American and cheque being the English. I always write it cheque and I am from the UK so I guess it is correct here as I see it spelt that way most often.

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Wow, I'd completely forgotten about that word, "cheque."

I've never actually used the word myself, nor have I heard anyone use it, either.

What's the difference between the two words?

I believe that "check" is the American version, whereas "Cheque" is the British version. In Canada, we used to use the British version, I even remember having spelling tests with that differentiating between the 2. If you spelled the American version, it was automatically wrong and now I see that times have changed.

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I have also noticed they are no longer using the word cheque.  I guess that's because people rarely use them nowadays, which is understandable, since there are so many ways to pay and get paid nowadays.  I'm guessing this word will no longer be in the dictionaries after a while, after all new words are added to the dictionary with almost every new edition. 

The English language is like a living being... it's evolving! So old words that no longer have any kind of relevance must be taken out from the dictionary.  I'd not be surprised it cheque is already gone or will be gone soon.

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I have also noticed they are no longer using the word cheque.  I guess that's because people rarely use them nowadays, which is understandable, since there are so many ways to pay and get paid nowadays.  I'm guessing this word will no longer be in the dictionaries after a while, after all new words are added to the dictionary with almost every new edition. 

The English language is like a living being... it's evolving! So old words that no longer have any kind of relevance must be taken out from the dictionary.  I'd not be surprised it cheque is already gone or will be gone soon.

Really? I'd counter that by saying that cheques are still being used regularly. Hell, I even got one from the government just the other day, and is also the primary method of payment from my job. I suppose that with the growing usage of direct deposits to bank accounts, cheques have gone down in usage, but in no way are they obsolete yet. Just my thoughts.  :wink:

As for the original question, I still continue to use the word "cheque" when describing a bill at a restaurant or the paper, monetary cheque. Perhaps that is because I am Canadian and the majority of our words follow the British spelling (ie. colour, neighbour, etc). I use "check" as in check mark or to check something off of a list.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For me, I prefer to use the word 'cheque' because I think it sounds more refined and it helps to further differentiate between the more common shared word 'check'.

Hahahhaa, it just seems weird to me when I see people write 'I'll hand you a check tomorrow.' 'can you pass me a check?' 'I'm going to bank this check in.' because I kept imagine the other type of 'check' which is the act of being inspected and it has made me giggle in front of people more than once.  :tongue:

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I still see some people using the word "cheque" and I think it is still valid.  I personally like using it better than "check" because I think it conveys a clearer message that you are referring to that sheet of paper that you can use to pay.  Check can be sometimes confusing, especially if you are using it in related context.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The word "check", a bank related term, is the spelling used in American english. However, from what I know, it is spelled "cheque" in British english.

In my point of view, it's safer to use "cheque" rather than check if we mean of the thing used in bank transactions. Why? This is to avoid confusions and misunderstanding since check could mean many things but cheque refers to nothing more except that which is used n bank transactions.

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  • 1 month later...

I still happen to use the word 'cheque' and have never used the word 'check' to refer to the value of money. I use the British English which is a little different from American English and so it allows me to spell the word this way. It's funny though that when I type this word and  few others on my computer I have to keep ignoring the spell checks as they are set for the American spelling.

I know what you mean. I still use cheque. I just find the word check a bit weird. I associate it with a check mark rather than a bank cheque. It's weird to see a word that you know spelled correctly get marked by a red squiggly line by the spell check on the computer.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I thought that ¨cheque¨ is just the British, Canadian, and Australian and New Zealand version of the word. Isn't it still in common use in those countries? That is in reference to a bank check, I mean. In the U.S., it is ¨check,¨ and I've never encountered any other spelling here.

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Both words are still pretty much acceptable, depending in which region of the world you are in.  Check and cheque mean an instrument that can be used as a substitute for money or legal tender.  Most local and foreign banks here in the Philippines subscribe to the American spelling, which is check.  Outside of the sphere of banking, some companies use the word cheques to distinguish it from ordinary bank checks, such as gift cheques.  Here in my country, both words are used but in a different context - checks refer to banking instruments while cheques are equated with coupons.

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I have been more familiar with the term 'Cheque', even in all formal transactions that I have done in my life. I first noticed a difference when I used a word processor to spell check, and later realized that 'Check' is how it is spelled in American English. Actually I am more comfortable with it being spelled 'Cheque' rather than 'Check', because it easily connects with the financial term rather than the other similar meaning that check provides.

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As far as I know the word still exists, accoring to Wikipedia Cheque is simply the british usage, and Check is the American one.

Either way, cheques/checks are used so rarely nowadays that the word is almost never used... Because noone ever uses those things anymore, since there are almost always alternatives that are way better.

Ah so that's why they have different spellings, but the same meaning. But yeah I agree that paying through a check is not common anymore, simply because they have been replaced by money transfers and mobile banking.

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