I have seen many people use "anyways" in chat and comments on SE. But I think I have read in many books as "anyway".

Which is the correct word?

This suggests that "anyways" is an informal language.

Definition of anyways
US, informal: anyhow, anyway
(a) archaic: anywise
(b) dialect: to any degree at all

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    – JavaLatte
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 18:09
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    Probably about as correct as "anyhoo".
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 18:47
  • @Andrew: Quite. I'd have thought that anyhoo was originally a dialectal Scottish usage, but it's been enthusiastically taken up in the US in recent decades (mainly, imho, because it keeps turning up in cartoons like The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, etc.). Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 18:52
  • @FumbleFingers I figured we started saying it because we were getting tired of "anyways". Although I never picked up on the Scottish connection, to me it sounds more Southern American.
    – Andrew
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 18:59
  • @Andrew: It's definitely more AmE than BrE today, but M-W says of the origin: probably originally jocular appropriation of Scots and Ulster onie-hoo = anyhow. Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 19:03

2 Answers 2


I disagree with @mstorkson. I believe that many teachers (including mine) would mark it as misspelled word, but it's actually debatable to say it's entirely wrong. This is what I found in New Fowlers Modern English Usage

any ways, anyways. As an adverb = 'in any way, in any respect, at all', used <...> in many literary contexts during the last four centuries. It seems to have dropped out of standard UK use now, though it survives in regional use. It is also encountered (always written as one word, anyways) in informal AmE.

So according to the book, I think it's acceptable in some dialects and informal contexts. But avoid using it in academic writing.


Technically? No. Will people 100% understand what you mean when you say it, and will you hear many people say it? Yes, absolutely.

The way in which English has developed makes the idea of "correct" words kind of laughable. But if you're writing something formal to highbrow people, avoid using "anyways"

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    Common spoken (American) English is plagued by errant trailing 's' sounds in words like forward(s), backward(s), toward(s), and anyway(s).
    – Davo
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 17:53
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    @Davo: Actually, that's not true. AmE massively favours toward where the BrE standard usage is towards, as shown by this NGram plotting the relative ratios of the two forms in the AmE/BrE corpuses. Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 18:45
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    I expect that the Google Books NGram viewer is more representative of the written word than it is the spoken. My comment was about spoken AmE. But point taken, I think.
    – Davo
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 18:49
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    @Davo: Granted, the usage split is less extreme plotting toward/towards me said to focus on spoken contexts. But it's still the same preference. Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 22:15
  • How about formal low-brow people?
    – TimR
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 22:58

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