Awkward Hugs

How Do You Spell Hanukkah?

Hanukkah menorah

In Hebrew, it’s חנוכה. Easy.

But in English, things are a little trickier… Because of the way Hebrew words are transliterated, there are 16 different spellings of the holiday. (There are four different points for variation, each with two options. H/Ch, nn/n, kk/k, and ah/a.) While all 16 are technically correct, some seem more correct than others.

I pulled hashtag data from Instagram for all 16 spellings and the results were about what you’d expect. The spelling that you see on Hallmark cards — “Hanukkah” — came out on top with 464,606 posts. The more traditional “Chanukah” was a solid second with 207,236 posts, and “Hannukah” rounded out the top three with 118,132 posts. After that, they quickly fall off.

Interestingly, none of the spellings ending in a (instead of ah) are popular at all.

Here’s the full list:

SpellingPosts
Hanukkah464,606
Chanukah207,236
Hannukah118,132
Hanukah37,924
Chanukkah22,664
Channukah21,901
Chanuka13,356
Hanuka13,292
Hanukka6,170
Hannukkah5,451
Hannuka4,730
Chanukka3,895
Channuka2,007
Channukkah1,257
Hannukka596
Channukka187

(The Instagram counts were last updated on March 21, 2018.)

If you’re still reading, looking for an answer, go with “Hanukkah” or “Chanukah.” Either one is right.

And while there are a bunch of others that are technically correct, they’ll look like you made a mistake. Avoid them.

No matter how you spell it, enjoy it. Happy Hanukkah!