“Username” is a common noun we come across in English. Especially now that computers are so much more common than they once were. We need to make sure we know whether it’s one or two words or whether it’s hyphenated, so this article will help you to figure it out.
User name vs. User-name vs. Username
“Username” is most commonly spelled as one word. We combine “user” and “name” because it’s basic practice when logging into an account online. However, since they are separate words and defined as such, “user name” is also acceptable in many cases.
According to Google Ngram Viewer, “username” is by far the most popular choice of the three. It’s the one that you’re most likely to come across. Most websites will also write it as one word when they want you to enter a username for their database.
In The Cambridge Dictionary and The Oxford Dictionary, “username” is the only defined spelling variation. This shows that it’s most common for native speakers to write it as one word. It’s very common for us to group nouns in this manner when they have similar meanings.
Neither dictionary mentions whether “user name” is acceptable. However, The Cambridge Dictionary highlights that “user ID” is synonymous, which shows that “user” can still be treated as a separate word. That’s why “user name” is also correct.
Is “Username” One Word?
“Username” is generally recognized as a one-word spelling. Many English dictionaries will spell it in this combined way because it’s the way that most people and websites recognize it. Since it’s the most common choice, it’s best if you use this spelling over any other.
Some of these examples should help you with it:
- Would you like us to remind you of your username so you can log in easier next time?
- I have a few different usernames because I like to have multiple accounts!
- Your username is somewhat offensive. I think you should try and fix it before it upsets anybody.
- Whatever username you choose, you must remember that it will stick with you throughout your professional career.
“User” and “name” are separate words. However, it’s so common to group them in these cases that it’s almost expected by most native speakers at this point.
Is “User name” Two Words?
“User name” can be written as two words. It’s a little more old-fashioned to do this because it’s so commonplace to see the two words combined. Also, dictionaries officially recognize “username” as a one-word spelling, which is why it’s the best choice.
However, there is nothing grammatically incorrect with “user name” as two words. If you prefer to keep them separate, you are free to do so.
These examples should help you make a little more sense of it:
- I need to remember my user name because I always have to ask the website for help with it.
- Do you know your user name now? I think you need it if you want to go to the next step.
- You should have your user name and password figured out before you log on.
- What is my user name? I could have sworn I wrote it down somewhere here!
Is “User-name” Hyphenated?
You should never hyphenate “user-name.” There are no cases where it’s correct. It is a noun that combines “user” and “name” into one word, and it is officially recognized as a noun in many English dictionaries. The hyphen would take away from the intended meaning.
Some of these examples should clear up any confusion:
- Correct: You need to log in with your username and password when you get the chance.
- Incorrect: I did not remember my user-name for the website, so they locked me out.
- Correct: You should jot down your username, so you don’t confuse it again!
- Incorrect: Whatever your user-name is, you need to write it down before entering your password!
Is “Name” Capitalized In The Word “User-Name”?
“User-name” is not a hyphenated word. Therefore, there is no need to capitalize either part of it.
However, since “username” is not a proper noun, it also does not need to be capitalized. The only time you might find it necessary to do that is if it’s part of a title and you capitalize all the major words in it.
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.