Oh, you’re so smart: Babysitter vs. baby-sitter

Among the many words whose spellings appear to be changing is babysitter, confusing many a little firecracker of smartness. Is it one word, two words, or hyphenated?

Older editions of dictionaries tend to hyphenate the word. Increasingly, though, newer editions are lopping off the hyphen and spelling it as one word, as in: We asked Jane if she would be little Jimmy’s babysitter.

Go with babysitter as one word, no hyphen. Should anyone ask why, be one smart apple and say “brevity.”


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.