Have you been saying either damnit or dammit? Well, it’s time to know which one of them is correct. You might be surprised to know that the correct version wasn’t always the most popular choice!
Is The Correct Spelling Damnit Or Dammit?
The correct spelling is “dammit” and is the only correct version. You can split “damnit” into two words and say “damn it” correctly, but the most popular choice is to say “dammit,” and it has only grown in prevalence over recent years.
We thought it was a good idea to run you through a graph of usage in the last 200 years. From this graph, we can see how our use of the words with spelling variations has changed.
Notice how the variations “damn it” and “dammit” took off over the last 80 years (starting around 1940). However, “damnit” and “darn it” never took off to quite the same degree.
“Damn it” is the most popular choice of the four variations, but “dammit” is slowly catching up over time, with people preferring the shortening and simplification of the spelling.
If we refer to the Oxford English Dictionary, we can see that “dammit” comes from the mid-19th century and is an alteration of the more common saying “damn it.”
What Does Damnit Mean?
“Damnit” isn’t considered a word and isn’t recognized in dictionaries. However, it is a shortened version of the phrase “damn it,” which is why so many people believe that it is the correct way to spell the word. If we want to write “damnit” in this way, we have to make sure to include the space and write “damn it.”
“Damn it” is an exclamation used to show anger or frustration. The same meaning is applied to “dammit.”
We often use “damn it” or a variation of it when we’ve done something to hurt ourselves or when someone delivers bad news to us. It’s our way of dealing with the situation straight away without bringing too harsh of a swear word into the occasion.
Some people deem “damn” to be a lighter curse word, while others don’t think of it as a swear word at all. It mostly comes back to the bible, where in the biblical sense, you are “damned” if you are a sinner and you get sent to hell.
Why Do We Say Dammit?
We say “dammit” because we always look for ways we can improve and simplify our language. It’s a common trait of English (primarily American English) to try and look for more straightforward ways to spell and say things.
If you say “damn it,” you’ll notice that the “n” is silent at the end of “damn.” That’s why so many people group the two words and remove the “n” entirely. Instead, we have the phonetic spelling “dammit.”
There are plenty of examples where American English removes unnecessary letters from words to keep things simple. For example, the “u” in British English’s “colour” is removed to make “color” in American English. The same is said for the “n” in “damn,” which is more appropriate in American English.
Native speakers that use British English often write “damn it” because they consider “dammit” to be a colloquialism. However, with the growing grasp of America on language rules, even British English has opted to use “dammit” when they want to exclaim in frustration.
Examples Of How To Use Damn it, Dammit, Damnit, And Darn It In A Sentence
Now let’s see some examples of using all the variations in a sentence. As we’ve said, “damnit” is an incorrect spelling variation, so we’ll avoid using it. If you want to write it that way, you have to include the space between the two words!
- Damn it! I stubbed my toe on the table again.
- Oh, dammit! Why didn’t you tell me sooner that my shirt was on backward?
- Darn it; I can’t seem to start my tractor!
- Damn it! You can’t just tell me something like that and expect me not to respond!
- Dammit! How many more are expected to come?
- Darn it! I thought that was the last of them!
- Damn it! That really hurt!
- Dammit! How could you do this to me?
- Darn it! I guess we can’t go back in there until it’s cleared out!
- Oh, dammit! I thought I had enough time!
See how in each of these examples, something negative has happened towards the person speaking. This is what warrants them exclaiming in anger or frustration and using the phrases “dammit,” “damn it,” or “darn it.”
If you want to use them yourself, make sure you know what context they work well in!
When Did Dammit Become A Word?
“Dammit” became a word sometime in the mid-19th century. It was introduced to the English language when people wanted to find a way to simplify the swear at the time known as “damn it.”
As the years went by, more people started to choose the more accessible variation of the spelling.
It was even more popular when the information age began, and people started to communicate by text. It was easier to type out “dammit” on typewriters (and eventually mobile phones), so people used the easier spelling instead of the original “damn it.”
Here’s What You Should To Always Swear Correctly
To make sure you’re swearing correctly, use either “damn it” or “dammit.” There’s no real way to separate the two from each other.
If you refer to our graph from earlier, you can see that they’re both very popular choices, even today. They’ve competed with each other for years, and both have their place in the world. That’s why you should choose whichever one you prefer to use, and stick with it to swear correctly.
Make sure you only use “damn it” or “dammit,” though. “Damnit” is completely wrong and shouldn’t be used to swear. “Darn it” is a dated saying that has never been as popular as the other two, so don’t say that either.
We hope that’s helped clear up any confusion you might have had between the spellings!
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.