In the English language, you can turn some nouns or verbs into adverbs simply by adding a “y” at the end. For example, “ice” becomes “icy” and “luck” becomes “lucky.”
However, when a word ends in the letter “e” people can get confused. One example of this issue is the choice between cringy or cringey.
Which spelling is correct? Let’s find out together.
What does cringy mean?
Cringy (or cringey) is an informal adjective, which usually means one of two things.
- To cause feelings of awkwardness and embarrassment
Dad always told cringey jokes whenever my friends came to our house.
- To be timid or servile.
The boy was cringey and irritating in front of the biology professor, but much more brazen in the school playground.
Cringy vs. cringey: which is correct?
When you create an adjective by placing a “y” at the end of a verb or noun, you should drop the “e.” However, in the case of cringey, the “e” is retained. In fact, the spelling “cringey” is the one most likely to be recorded in dictionaries.
However, both spellings are correct. “Cringy” is listed as an alternative spelling in most reference books, similar to “connection” and “connexion.”
That being said, some people have an issue with the “cringy” variation due to the assumed phonetics when you drop the “e.” “Cringe” becomes “cring” and it would be pronounced the same way as “ring” or “king”. However, this is a matter of personal preference as opposed to correct or incorrect grammar.