Mannequin vs Manikin Spelling

Karen Henry Educational English Fun manikin mannequin spelling

We've wondered about the spelling of mannequin or manikin for some time now. We researched this and created this webpage to share this information.

It's complicated...

How to spell mannequin/manikin...?

How do you spell the word? 

The short answer is:

  • if it's a medical dummy or artists tool then we use the word 'manikin'
  • if it's for a window display or it's clothing related then use the word 'mannequin'
  • if it's a robot or mechanical or artificial intelligence being - then use 'mannequin'
  • if it's a small figure of a human then use manikin (e.g. a toy, doll, puppet, marionette,  or a clay figure)

You can confirm this using the origin of these words links below.

This is true for the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada.

If you're happy with the above share using the social buttons to share this knowledge. 

If you're not on.


Manikin stems etymologically from the Dutch word for "little man" - first recorded in 1570 when it was originally spelled ''manneken' - this is not how to spell the word in English. Words evolve and are adopted by cultures over time.

Mannequin stems from the French word of the same spelling from the 1400's.

What do Yahoo Answers say?

Here is a Yahoo Answers discussion entitled "How do you spell 'mannequin'? (the plastic dolls they put clothes on...)?". The discussion sort of gets it correct, but it's not clear.

Read on...

But, before you choose mannequin as the correct spelling - read on...

Mannequin spelling

How do you really it Mannequin, or Manikin or Mannikin...?

Let's try group an item to vote. See the results in a pie-chart. See what others think about the spelling of mannequin. 

But don't trust this vote. People or bots will click on anything - as is proven by this blog post!

We're not giving up yet.

The learning continues.


  1. mannequin
  2. manikin
  3. mannikin
  4. manakin
  5. mannikan
  6. maniquin
  7. other
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Mannequin spelling according to Wikipedia

Wikipedia offers the three alternate spellings as mannequin, manikin, or mannikin.

Mannequin at The Free Dictionary

The Free Dictionary has an entry for manikin, mannikin, and mannequin.

Mannikin is considered to be a misspelling in Australia, UK, USA, and Canada.

Mannequin and manikin are the correct spellings in all these countries: Australia, UK, USA, and Canada.

In Microsoft Word...

Word spelling of mannequin

In Microsoft Word, Mannequin/Manikin/Mannikin shows red underlining means incorrect spelling. Word prefers either mannequin or manikin for US English.

So it depends on the context, but not the country:

  • Is it medical or art? Use manikin
  • Is it window display? Use mannequin

According to shows the most popular words in English ranked by commonness. WordCount data currently comes from the British National Corpus®, a 100 million word collection of samples of written and spoken language from a wide range of sources.

According to Word Count:

  • Mannikin is at position 70005 in popularity out of 86800 words
  • Manikin does not exist!! Seriously confusing. We think this is an error!
  • Mannequin is at position 53848  

So this means that by popularity Mannequin wins and the spelling of manikin at is questionable - but anyway moving on.

Now seriously, how do you REALLY spell it!

If it's a medical dummy or artists tool then we say use the spelling 'manikin'. If it's for a window display or it's clothing related then use the spelling 'mannequin'. Avoid the double 'n' spelling of mannikin - as this is flagged by most spell checkers. All other spellings are dubious - unless referring to something else not mentioned on this page. 

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