Surprise, Suprise or Surprize – What’s correct?

TL;DR – The correct spelling is “surprise,” while “suprise” is a common misspelling and “surprize” is an archaic variant.

Especially or Specially

Deciphering the Spelling: “Surprise”

Language, particularly English, often presents us with words that have undergone transformations in their spelling over time. The word “surprise” stands as a prime example of this, with a few variants that might, well, surprise you.

Correct Spelling:

The universally accepted and correct spelling in both British and American English is “surprise.”


  • Surprise (correct): Referring to an unexpected event or the feeling of being taken unawares. For instance, a “surprise visit” or a “pleasant surprise” at a birthday party can both evoke the emotion denoted by this term.
  • Suprise (incorrect): While this variant might sometimes slip through in casual writing or be encountered in crossword puzzles, it’s a common misspelling.
  • Surprize (historically accepted but now incorrect): This alternative spelling has its roots in the etymology of the word. Derived from the Middle English “surprisen,” which in turn borrows from the Old French “surprendre” (meaning “to overtake”), the word underwent various spellings before settling on its present form. There are citations, for instance in works by Jane Austen, where “surprize” was used, but this spelling has since become archaic.

Origins and Usage:

The word “surprise” can trace its lineage back to French and Middle English. The etymology suggests a meaning related to seizing or capturing (“prise” or “prendre”), often unawares. Synonyms of “surprise” include “astonish” and “amaze”, both indicating a sense of wonder or shock.

While tools like spelling checker applications or resources like Wiktionary can help ensure that you’re using the right variant, it’s also crucial to be aware of historical grammar rules and changes in the English language.


Whether you’re penning a literary piece, crafting a heartfelt message, or even diving into a gripping novel set in London’s past, remembering the correct way to spell “surprise” is essential. Words, after all, are more than just letters arranged in a particular order; they carry history, context, and nuanced meanings.


  • How to use Surprise in a sentence?

Published on: 2023-09-30
Updated on: 2023-10-05

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Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.