Learn English – Why is “welcome” spelled like this?


Why is the word "welcome" spelled with one "l"?
Somewhere in the answers I found a good explanation of the meaning of " welcome".

Example: "You have done well to come to me; I am pleased to do it"

According to this meaning, "welcome" should be spelled with two L

Where in the history did the change take place?

Best Answer

According to the OED the double "l" became single with usage but it does not identify a precise period. I think it is an example of crasis, that is the reduction of the number of letters "l" from two to one as they are no longer useful for the pronunciation of the new term (welcome).


  • Originally OE. wilcuma (f. wil-, will- will, desire, pleasure + cuma comer, guest) = OHG. willicomo, MHG. and MLG. willekome, -kume (whence OF. wilecome), with subsequent alteration of the first element to wel- well adv. , and identification of the second with the imperative or infinitive of the verb come, under the influence of OF. bien venu, bien veigniez, L. bene venisti, bene venias, etc., and possibly of the Scandinavians.