While we commonly use the word "artist" (for a person who knows any art), a lot of literary publications and even some news organisations spell the word as "artiste" - with an "e" in the end.

Is there a difference between two words ("artist" and "artiste") or is it a US-UK English difference? If not, what's the reason for two spellings? Thank you.

  • "Artiste" sometimes has a negative connotation. Particularly if the last 'teh' is highly pronounced. In a similar way to the negative connotation of calling someone a 'Prima Donna'.
    – Neil
    Nov 30, 2021 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


artiste is mainly used for professional performers:

A professional entertainer, especially a singer or dancer.

(source: Lexico)

while the word artist is applicable in many more situations, e.g. hobbyists, other types of arts or even outside the arts.

As for the difference in spelling, artiste looks more French and hence more exclusive (at least to me). So it does not come as a surprise that it's only used for a specific group of artists.

  • 1
    It not only looks French but is - see the note below the link you posted! Nov 30, 2021 at 10:03

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