Bootcamp or Boot camp? (AP vs. Chicago Style)

Sometimes, you might be able to group common words when they’re part of the same noun phrase. This article will look at using “bootcamp” and “boot camp” to help you understand whether it’s written as one or two words.

Bootcamp or Boot camp?

“Boot camp” is the correct spelling of the phrasal noun. The space is required between the words to show that “boot” modifies “camp.” You may refer to AP Style guidelines to remove the space between the words to create a compound noun with “bootcamp.” It is correct but uncommon.

Bootcamp or Boot camp

The AP Stylebook allows you to group common words when they appear together often enough. It’s still a relatively new trend, but as English evolves, one-word spelling variations are slowly becoming more popular than the traditional two-word spellings.

Google Ngram Viewer shows that in British English, “boot camp” is the most popular choice, but it’s starting to decline. Interestingly, “bootcamp” is starting to climb over the last decade, showing that AP Style rules for grouping two words are becoming more prevalent.

Bootcamp or Boot camp UK

American English still values the two-word spelling of “boot camp” over “bootcamp.” This might be because The Chicago Manual of Style (a common American English style guide) doesn’t have clear-cut rules relating to grouping compound nouns like “boot camp.”

Bootcamp or Boot camp US

Is “Bootcamp” One Word?

“Bootcamp” is grammatically correct, according to AP Style rules. You can group the two words into a compound noun to show that they are used when referring to a military “boot camp.”

“Bootcamp” is correct, although it’s still a new spelling variation. Not every writer will be comfortable grouping the words like this. That’s why it’s still very common to come across the two-word variation.

With time, “bootcamp” will most likely be the most popular spelling variation of the two.

Here are some examples to show you how to use “bootcamp” in a sentence:

  1. I want you to visit the bootcamp again. I think it’ll be good for you to learn more about what goes on there.
  2. Bootcamp is my favourite class at the gym! I feel like I get pushed to the limit when I go.
  3. He went through bootcamp training and hated every second of it. It sounded like torture, to be fair.
  4. I’m not sure if bootcamp is the right answer for Timmy. Maybe there are other options for him.

Is “Boot camp” Two Words?

“Boot camp” is the phrasal noun form. You should write it as two words when you want to follow official and correct grammar rules.

This is seen in official dictionaries like The Cambridge Dictionary and The Oxford Dictionary, where “boot camp” has a listing when spelt with two words. Neither dictionary mentions the one-word variation, showing that it’s still too new to be recognized.

If in doubt, you should always stick to the two-word variation. It’s the most common form, meaning it’s the one that you’re more likely to come across when reading other people’s work.

These examples will demonstrate how to use “boot camp” in a sentence:

  1. You need to visit the boot camp by the end of the day. The sergeant wants to speak to you about a few things.
  2. Boot camp can be tricky, but it’s worth it in the end. I learned so much from my time there, and I think you will too.
  3. I loved boot camp, though I was definitely in the minority. I really like being pushed to the limit.
  4. She wasn’t at boot camp earlier. We need to find her and scold her for not showing up on time.

Boot camp or Boot Camp?

We’ll quickly touch on capitalization rules to help you understand how to write “boot camp.”

At the start of a sentence, “Boot camp” is correct. Only the first word needs to be capitalized.

You might find that “Boot Camp” is capitalized this way in a title format, though. In titles, you must capitalize every major noun, meaning that “Boot” and “Camp” must be capitalized when written this way.

Final Thoughts

“Boot camp” and “bootcamp” are both correct. “Boot camp” is still the most common choice and is recognized in UK and US English. However, “bootcamp” is gaining popularity and is most commonly found in online publications. For now, it’s best to keep it as two words.