How Do You Spell Potato?

December 14, 2023
David Sunnyside

If you think about it, potatoes and tomato are two words that seem to break the general rule of nouns ending in -o that form their plurals by adding -es (like burrito becomes burritos and banjo becomes banjos). However, there are always exceptions, and when it comes to these two foods, they are among them.

In June of 1992, Dan Quayle made what may be the most notorious spelling gaffe in political history when he incorrectly corrected a 12-year-old spelling bee contestant, telling him to add an “e” to make it potatoe. The veep did not make it clear whether he misread a cue card or made the error on his own, but it’s certainly been remembered over the years.

The misspelling of the word potato is a common one that many children are likely to forget at some point, but it’s also a mistake that’s made by adults. The reason why is that it’s easy to confuse it with the word tomato, which follows a similar pattern and ends in -o but is still spelled tomatoe.

Thankfully, it’s an easy mistake to avoid, and the following quick breakdown will help you remember how do you spell potato so that you don’t get muddled next time you write out your shopping list or recipe. You’ll be surprised how simple it is! 2018 FunTrivia. All rights reserved. All images used in this article are copyrighted by their respective owners. All questions and answers are created by the editor of FunTrivia, who reserves the right to edit or remove any question and answer at any time for any reason.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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