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Mailman vs. Postman: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on September 25, 2023
Mailman and Postman are essentially synonymous, both referring to individuals who deliver mail, but "Mailman" is more commonly used in American English, while "Postman" is preferred in British English.

Key Differences

"Mailman" is predominantly an American English term used to denote individuals tasked with delivering mail to recipients. Similarly, "Postman" is employed to describe individuals with analogous duties, especially in British English. Both terms are essentially interchangeable, representing professionals who facilitate mail distribution.
The role of a Mailman is multifaceted, involving the sorting, carrying, and delivering of mail to the appropriate recipients. A Postman engages in analogous tasks, ensuring the mail reaches its intended destinations timely and accurately. The duties performed by both are vital for maintaining effective communication.
While "Mailman" is a colloquial term in the United States, "Postman" is universally understood and is the formal designation in various regions. Their responsibilities are almost identical, centering around the distribution of letters, parcels, and other postal articles to individuals or businesses.
Both a Mailman and a Postman act as intermediaries between the postal service and the recipients. They navigate through diverse routes, ensuring that mail items are accurately delivered, maintaining the flow of physical communication between entities. The trust vested in both roles is significant as they handle sensitive communication.
In essence, whether termed a Mailman or a Postman, the individual is a crucial component of the postal communication network. They bear the responsibility of transporting and delivering mail, ensuring the integrity and reliability of postal services, irrespective of regional linguistic preferences.

Comparison Chart

Regional Usage

Predominantly used in American English
Predominantly used in British English


Delivers mail to recipients
Delivers mail to recipients


Sorting, carrying, and delivering mail
Sorting, carrying, and delivering mail


Considered colloquial in some regions
Universally understood and formal


Acts as an intermediary between postal service and recipients
Acts as an intermediary between postal service and recipients

Mailman and Postman Definitions


A Mailman is responsible for sorting mail.
The Mailman sorted the letters accurately.


See mailman.


A Mailman is a person who delivers mail.
The Mailman arrives promptly every morning.


Someone who delivers the post (mail) to, and/or collects the post from, residential or commercial addresses, or from public mailboxes.


A Mailman navigates specified routes for deliveries.
The Mailman knows every street in the neighborhood.


One of the two most experienced barristers in the Court of Exchequer, who have precedence in motions, so called from the place where he sits, the other of the two being the tubman.


A Mailman acts as an intermediary in postal communication.
The Mailman handed over the parcel.


A post or courier; a letter carrier.


A Mailman ensures timely delivery of postal items.
The Mailman battled the snow to deliver the mail.


One of the two most experienced barristers in the Court of Exchequer, who have precedence in motions; - so called from the place where he sits. The other of the two is called the tubman.


A man who carries and delivers mail. Also called postman.


A man who delivers the mail


(North America) someone who delivers mail to, and/or collects mail from, residential or commercial addresses, or from public mailboxes


A man who delivers the mail. A male mail carrier.


A man who delivers the mail


Is Mailman more common in American English?

Yes, "Mailman" is predominantly used in American English.

Do both Mailman and Postman sort mail?

Yes, sorting mail is a fundamental responsibility for both.

Are Mailman and Postman the same?

Yes, they are synonymous and refer to individuals who deliver mail.

Are they responsible for delivering parcels as well?

Yes, both are responsible for delivering letters, parcels, and other postal items.

Is Postman a universal term?

Yes, "Postman" is universally understood and is a formal term in many regions.

Is being a Mailman physically demanding?

Yes, being a Mailman can be physically demanding due to walking and carrying mail.

Do Postmen navigate specific routes?

Yes, Postmen have specific routes that they navigate for deliveries.

Do Postmen work in all weather conditions?

Typically, yes. Postmen deliver mail in various weather conditions.

Can you call a Mail Carrier a Mailman?

Yes, "Mail Carrier" and "Mailman" can be used interchangeably.

Do Mailmen handle sensitive communication?

Yes, Mailmen are trusted with handling sensitive and confidential communication.

Is the term Postman becoming obsolete?

In some regions, "Postal Worker" or "Mail Carrier" is preferred for being gender-neutral.

Is the term Mailman formal?

"Mailman" is considered colloquial in some regions, and "Mail Carrier" is a more formal alternative.

Can the term Postman refer to postal workers in general?

While it typically refers to individuals delivering mail, it can be used broadly for postal workers.

Can a Mailman work in rural areas?

Yes, Mailmen deliver mail in both urban and rural areas.

Can a Postman be a woman?

Yes, "Postman" is a gender-neutral term and can refer to individuals of any gender.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited 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.

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