Propper or Proper – Which Spelling Is Correct?

Are “Propper” and “Proper” synonyms? Because those words are very similar, some people think that they are both the same or both correct.

We want to know if those words are both correct, or if one should be avoided. Also, if they are synonyms, or if they have different meanings.

Propper or Proper – Which Spelling Is Correct?

“Proper” is the correct spelling for the word that indicates something suitable or acceptable for a particular circumstance. “Propper” is a common misspelling of the word “Proper” and, as with any incorrect form, it shouldn’t be used. When talking about something or someone’s suitability, always use “Proper”.

propper or proper

Take a look at the examples below:

  • I didn’t have the propper equipment for the job. (incorrect)
  • I didn’t have the proper equipment for the job.

There’s not much to say when a word is incorrect than stating it should be avoided as much as possible. As you can see in the examples, only “Proper” works correctly in the sentence.

Simply put, in this comparison, “Proper” is the correct word to use, while “Propper” is a misspelling anyone would prefer to avoid.


“Propper” is an incorrect spelling for the word “Proper”. It intends to describe that something or someone is suitable for a certain circumstance, but it fails for not being the adequate spelling for it. You should always avoid using “Propper”.

Is “Propper” a word? The Cambridge Dictionary doesn’t acknowledge “Propper” as a word. Instead, it forwards the reader to a list of similar words “Propped” may have been mistaken for. It doesn’t even recognize “Propper” as a misspelling of “Proper”.

Let’s take a look at some examples that include the incorrect word “Propper”, followed by a corrected version of the same sentence.

  1. I’m worried because Sarah hasn’t eaten a propper meal all day. (incorrect)
  2. I’m worried because Sarah hasn’t eaten a proper meal all day.
  1. Do you have propper sneakers for the race this Sunday? (incorrect)
  2. Do you have proper sneakers for the race this Sunday?
  1. Make sure everything is in its propper place before you leave! (incorrect)
  2. Make sure everything is in its proper place before you leave!


“Proper” is the correct and acceptable spelling for the word that indicates something fit, or suitable for a particular purpose. “Proper” is very common in the English language, both for casual and more formal conversations.

According to The Cambridge Dictionary, “Proper” can be defined as follows: “right or suitable for a particular situation or purpose”. It also adds to it, stating that “Proper” is “showing standards of behavior that are morally and socially acceptable”. In other words, “Proper” can be used to describe someone’s behavior.

Take a look at some helpful examples below:

  1. Wear proper headgear when you ride a bike.
  2. We should have a proper meal before going to work.
  3. Without proper documentation, you won’t be able to renew your passport.
  4. Don’t we need to have the proper equipment for this?
  5. Honestly, I didn’t have a proper response to Adam’s question.

Which Is Used the Most?

Which one of those forms is used more often, “Propper” or “Proper”? Take a look at the graph from Google Ngram Viewer below.

propper or proper usage

As we expected, “Proper” is the prevalent word, which is used much more often than “Propped”. “Proper” is orthographically correct and, therefore, is the spelling everyone should be using when discussing something or someone’s suitability.

“Propper” appears at the very bottom of the graph, barely used at all. Considering it’s an improper spelling, it’s also expected that this form wouldn’t be used. You should avoid it and make sure to only use “Proper”.

However, we can’t help but notice that the usage of the word “Proper” has been consistently dropping over the decades. This has been ongoing since 1920. We wonder if this is the case because someone people consider “Proper” to be too formal, and avoid using it.

Final Thoughts

“Proper” is a word we use to describe something (or someone) that is suitable, or appropriate in a particular situation or circumstance. “Proper” is the correct spelling we should all use. “Propper” is an incorrect form, a misspelling, and, as such, should be avoided.