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Jot vs. Tittle: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 7, 2023
A jot is the smallest amount or part of something, whereas a tittle is a tiny amount or part of writing, like the dot over an 'i'.

Key Differences

In the context of writing, a jot refers to a very small amount, the smallest part of something, or a quick, brief note. A tittle, historically specific to writing, refers to a small stroke or point in writing, such as the dot above the lowercase 'i' or 'j'.
The term jot originates from the Greek letter iota, which is the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet, symbolizing a minute quantity. Tittle comes from Latin "titulus," meaning a small stroke or accent in writing. Although both imply smallness, jot is more general while tittle is specific to writing.
While "jot" can be used figuratively to denote any small amount, even outside of writing, "tittle" is rarely used in contexts other than to describe minute details or marks within writing or typography. The phrase "jot or tittle" from the Bible emphasizes thoroughness, indicating not even the smallest detail will be overlooked.
Jot can also function as a verb, meaning to write something quickly or briefly. Tittle does not commonly function as a verb in English and remains largely within the domain of a noun. The usage of "jot" is more prevalent in everyday language, whereas "tittle" is quite rare and often found in more specialized discussions.
The use of "jot" can also imply the action of writing briefly or taking quick notes, whereas "tittle" has no verb form and its usage is restricted to its noun form, often used in conjunction with "jot" to suggest completeness in detail.

Comparison Chart


Smallest amount or brief note
Tiny mark in writing


From Greek 'iota', the smallest letter
From Latin 'titulus', a small stroke


Can denote small amounts in general
Specific to minute details in writing

Verb Form

Can be used as a verb
No verb form


More commonly used
Rarely used, often biblical or legal

Jot and Tittle Definitions


The smallest amount, a tiny bit.
I don't care a jot for the critics' opinions.


A tiny stroke or point in writing.
Make sure every tittle is visible in the manuscript.


To write something down quickly.
Jot this down before you forget!


The dot over an 'i' or 'j'.
The child carefully placed a tittle above every 'i'.


A quick, small note.
She made a jot in her notebook about the meeting time.


A very small part or quantity.
Not a tittle of evidence was overlooked in the investigation.


The slightest degree.
His explanation didn't help one jot.


A minute detail.
He scrutinized the contract to the last tittle.


A minuscule or insignificant amount.
There's not a jot of truth in those rumors.


A small distinguishing detail.
Every tittle of her handwriting was unique.


The smallest bit; iota.


A small diacritic mark, such as an accent, vowel mark, or dot over an i.


To write down briefly or hastily
Jot down an address.


Is tittle used in everyday language?

No, "tittle" is rare and often used in legal or religious texts.

What is a jot?

A jot is the smallest amount or part of something, often used to indicate a brief note.

Can jot be used as a verb?

Yes, "jot" can be used as a verb meaning to write quickly or briefly.

What is a tittle?

A tittle refers to a tiny mark or stroke in writing, like the dot over an 'i'.

Does "jot" only refer to written notes?

No, it can also mean a very small amount of anything.

Are jot and tittle synonymous?

While similar, they are not synonymous; "jot" is more general, "tittle" is specific to writing.

What does the phrase "jot or tittle" mean?

It means paying attention to even the smallest details.

Do "jot" and "tittle" have the same origin?

No, "jot" comes from Greek, and "tittle" from Latin.

How did "jot" get its meaning?

It derives from the Greek letter iota, the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet.

What type of noun is tittle?

Tittle is a countable noun.

Can "tittle" be used outside of the context of writing?

It's rare and typically used in discussions about detailed writing or typography.

Is "tittle" ever used metaphorically?

Rarely, it's mostly used literally to describe small parts in writing.

Is "jot" a formal or informal term?

It is considered informal and is commonly used in everyday speech.

Are there any common idioms with "jot"?

"Not one jot," meaning not at all, is relatively common.

Is it correct to say "every jot and tittle"?

Yes, this phrase is used to mean "every small detail."

Can "jot" imply a very brief amount of time?

Yes, it can refer to a brief moment.

In what fields might "tittle" be used?

Legal, religious, and typographical discussions.

Would a linguist use "tittle"?

Yes, when discussing specific aspects of writing or orthography.

What does the expression "not one jot or tittle" signify?

It emphasizes that nothing will be changed or overlooked.

Is there a verb form of "tittle"?

No, "tittle" is only used as a noun.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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