Is It OK to Abbreviate "Barbecue" as "BBQ"?

Is it OK to abbreviate barbecue as BBQ, or is it silly and wrong?

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read

how to spell bbq

Is that party you're planning a barbecue, barbeque, bar-b-que, bar-b-q, or BBQ?

The most accepted spelling of the word is "barbecue" because it most closely resembles the word from which it's derived--barbacòa. The shorter forms, such as bar-b-q, are just abbreviations that play on the sounds from the syllables be (B) and cue (Q).

Most sources say the Spanish adopted the word"barbacòa from local populations they encountered in the Caribbean who used the word to describe the wooden frameworks they used to cook meat.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.


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About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.