regardless » irregardless

Classification: English – nearly mainstream – not an eggcorn

Spotted in the wild:

  • He lit a cigarette, irregardless of the “no smoking” sign. ()

From the American Heritage Dictionary:

Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.—

[Reclassified by Ben Zimmer as “not an eggcorn,” as it is best understood as a blend of _irrespective_ and _regardless_.]

| link | entered by jkmillard, 2005/05/16 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Ry , 2006/06/09 at 5:09 am

    Proper use is Regardless. or Irrespective.

    Irregardless - while is is accepted in spoken American English.. should not be used in written English.

  2. 2

    Commentary by Donna , 2006/06/10 at 6:16 am

    While not officially an eggcorn, the use of irregardless by the less deft (or more daft) writers, is certainly annoying.

  3. 3

    Commentary by Stacey Hernandez , 2006/07/21 at 4:19 pm

    “Irregardless” drives me mad. Whenever I hear it, I always find a way to work in my own creation “disirregardless” to bring the meaning back to what it should be. Frankly, the levity seems to make my gentle correction more palatable.

  4. 4

    Commentary by thomas k mclean , 2006/07/31 at 4:54 pm

    The only time I use it is when I make a bet that it is a word in the dictionary.

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