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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

EEBO: an Introduction: Variant Spelling

A guide to searching and using Early English Books Online.

More on Variant Spelling

While the variant spelling feature is generally quite effective, it is always possible that your term will have variants in the database that it does not return.  A few rules of thumb might be useful if you're trying to guess at a variant:

  • "Y" is sometimes substituted for "i" (i.e., faith or fayth)
  • The addition of an "e" to the end of a word, or the possible omission of it when it should belong at the end of a word (i.e., faith or faithe)
  • "W" is sometimes listed as "VV" (i.e., William or VVilliam, or farewell or farevvell)
  • "U" is sometimes substituted for "V" (i.e., advertisement or aduertisement) and vice versa
  • "I" is sometimes substituted for "J" (Jesus or Iesus)