Wrapping your head around distinct word differences can be tricky in English. Never mind and nevermind are great examples of this, as they are often intermixed throughout English Writing. So is nevermind one word?
Don’t worry if you can’t tell the difference between these two words; today, we will discuss them in detail!
- Never mind is the ”correct” spelling for the term used to tell someone to ignore something. It is considered the “dictionary form” and should be used in most circumstances.
- Nevermind is a colloquial spelling of the original form, which comes from the expression, “[pay a thing] no nevermind.”
How Did Never Mind Originate?
As you now know, never mind is the correct form used to tell someone to ignore or disregard something. In contrast to other colloquial versions, never mind is characterized by being two separate words.
It can be originally tracked down to the late 1700s, specifically from the original phrase, “never mind it.” Just like our modern-day expression, the original phrase maintained the same meaning of letting someone know to disregard something.
When written as two words, never mind functions as a verb in an almost oxymoronic nature. As you can assume, over time, the phrase became popular and was eventually shortened and adapted into our modern-day expression.
In contrast to its more nuanced usage back in the 1700s, never mind is frequently used as an exclamation or turn of phrase in English nowadays. For instance, if you start saying something and don’t remember the rest or simply don’t want to finish, you may say “never mind” to tell others to disregard what you were saying.
Lastly, never mind can also be used in place of “not to mention” when listing things. For instance:
- I could hardly walk, never mind run.
How Did Nevermind Originate?
In most settings, nevermind is simply an everyday single-word spelling for the true term, never mind. That is to say, when you encounter it within writing or speech, you should probably assume it is a common misspelling of never mind.
With that said, some dictionaries, such as the Oxford English Dictionary, classify nevermind as a regional idiom, especially when used in its original expression, “no nevermind.” Even though it is listed, you should know that most American English speakers will likely not be familiar with it. For example:
- Forget what they said about you. Pay them no nevermind.
- Andy’s business is no nevermind of yours.
As you can see in these examples, nevermind acts to say that something is “none of your business.” It can also be used like never mind to tell someone to pay no attention to something.
Although these are very niche examples, they should illustrate of nevermind may be used colloquially in its historical roots. With that said, you probably won’t encounter this or need to use it in your writing. Other dictionaries such as Merriam-Webster or American Heritage don’tdon’t even list nevermind as an accepted usage at all.
As a final note, nevermind is also correlated to texting language and acronyms. More specifically, “nm” and “nvm” are both abbreviations commonly used to mean “never mind.”
Should You Use Never Mind or Nevermind?
As mentioned, you will not likely see anyone use nevermind in any modern-day setting. With this in mind, it is not advised that you use nevermind in your writing or other work.
In comparison, when written as two words, never mind is an incredibly popular and accepted form widely understood by most English speakers.