Flier vs. Flyer – How to Use Each Correctly

enhancedwriting/ August 30, 2017/ Uncategorized

flier versus flyer

What’s the Difference Between Flyer and Flier?

Flyer and flier are alternate spellings of the same word. They are both common in American English as well as British English.

Flyer is a noun that can mean a pamphlet, a device to twist yarn, or one who flies.

  • The man passed out some flyers for the restaurant.

Flier has the same meaning, although it does not include the definition relating to yarn.

  • She made a flier to advertise the new club she was starting at her school.

Let’s look at how to use these words in context.

Using Flyer in a Sentence

When to use flyer: Flyer is a noun that has several meanings, including a paper that gives information, something which twists yarn, and a person who flies.

For example:

  • US Air passengers who are frequent flyers can earn points that will give them discounts on future flights.
  • I lost my cat so I plan on handing out some flyers with his picture and my phone number on them.

There are a couple of idioms that use flyer:

  • a high flyer: a successful person
    • He’s a self-made millionaire at the young age of 27! He’s quite a high flyer!

Flyer is more common in British English than it is in American English. It is also more common to use flyer in the sense of a pamphlet than it is to use flier for that same meaning.

Using Flier in a Sentence

When to use flier: Flier shares the same meaning as flyer and has the same grammatical rules. Small differences in connotation and usage may be present, but these differences are hotly contested in different grammatical guides. The biggest difference is that flier is not a tool used with yarn, whereas a flyer is.

For example:

  • Frequent flier miles are a good incentive to make passengers choose one airline over another.
  • Fliers are becoming less common in the digital age. Most paper materials get lost at best or thrown out immediately at worst.

Flier is the only spelling to be used in the phrase take a flier.

  • to take a flier: to take a chance
    • I know gambling isn’t a good way to make money, but I’m going to take a flier on this game.

Remembering Flyer vs. Flier

The two alternate spellings have no significant differences in usage. Different style guides often prefer one spelling to another, so just make sure you are using whichever spelling your organization prefers.

Flyer is more common than flier. You can think of the y in flyer to remind you of the y in many, and remember than many people use flyer.

An American convention that seems to be helpful is to use use flier for people who and flyer for pamphlets. To help remember this, you can think that “I am a flier.” Both words contain an I.

Outside Examples

  • Fake moving companies may call you, or drop you an email, or leave a flyer on your doorstep. –USA Today
  • A spokeswoman says Southwest is giving extra frequent-flyer points to A-List and A-List Preferred customers who didn’t get priority boarding in the last few days. –Chicago Tribune
  • The flier posted Monday in the hallway of Stanton College Preparatory School in Jacksonville offered guidelines for female students ahead of the school’s big dance, complete with pictures of four dresses and accompanying commentary. –New York Post
  • Police opened a “hate incident” investigation after three fliers featuring a swastika and a threatening message were found in a residential neighborhood in Alameda on Sunday, authorities said. –LA Times

Quiz: Flier vs. Flyer

Instructions: Fill in the blank with the correct word, either flier or flyer, in the correct form.

  1. The student candidates for school president passed out ______________ in the school hallways.
  2. The yarn ___________ is used for spinning or twisting yarn.
  3. _______________ who regularly use Delta know the rules for carry-on luggage.

See answers below.

Article Summary

Should I use flyer or flier? Despite the slightly different spelling, and conflicting rules in grammar guides, these words are almost totally interchangeable.

  • Flyer can refer to a person who flies, an informational pamphlet, or a device for twisting yarn. It is more common in British English and for referring to informational pamphlets.
  • Flier means a person who flies or an informational pamphlet. It does not refer to the device for twisting yarn. It is more common in American English and for referring to people who fly.

Because grammar guides disagree on the exact rules, find out what your school or business uses for its own style guide and stick to that.

Answers

  1. fliers or flyers (either is correct)
  2. flyer
  3. Fliers or Flyers (either is correct)