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Syrup vs. Sirup: What's the Difference?

By Harlon Moss || Updated on May 23, 2024
Syrup and sirup are variant spellings of the same word, with "syrup" being more common in American English, referring to a thick, sweet liquid used in cooking and beverages.

Key Differences

Syrup is the more widely recognized spelling in American English, denoting a thick, sweet liquid often used in cooking, baking, and beverages. Sirup is an alternative spelling of the same word, less commonly used but still correct. This variant is more prevalent in other forms of English, such as British English or in certain technical and historical contexts.
The use of syrup is predominant in modern American culinary terminology. Recipes, food labels, and menus in the United States almost exclusively use "syrup." Sirup, while less common, can still be found in historical texts, older recipes, and some international English contexts. Its usage highlights the fluidity and evolution of language, showing how different spellings can coexist even when they refer to the same substance.
Syrup and sirup are essentially the same, with syrup being the preferred spelling in American English and more common in contemporary usage. Sirup, on the other hand, is an acceptable but less frequently used variant.

Comparison Chart

Common Usage

Predominantly American English
Less common, older, or technical contexts

Spelling Origin

Derived from Arabic "sharāb"
Variant spelling of "syrup"

Modern Context

Used in recipes, labels, and menus
Found in historical or specialized texts


Widely recognized and used
Less frequent, still correct


Maple syrup, corn syrup, simple syrup
Historical recipes, technical documents

Syrup and Sirup Definitions


A medicinal liquid preparation.
The cough syrup relieved his sore throat.


A variant spelling of syrup.
The old recipe called for sirup instead of syrup.


A thick, sweet liquid used in cooking.
Pancakes taste best with maple syrup.


Less common spelling of a sugary solution.
The ancient manuscript described a fruit sirup.


A thick, sweet, sticky liquid, consisting of a sugar base, natural or artificial flavorings, and water.


An alternative spelling used in some technical contexts.
The manual referenced a glucose sirup.


A thick, sugary liquid made by boiling down or otherwise concentrating plant sap, juice, or grain extracts.


A thick, sweet liquid, especially in historical texts.
The pharmacist prepared a medicinal sirup.


A concentrated solution of sugar in water, often used as a vehicle for medicine.


Another spelling for a liquid sweetener.
The instructions mentioned sirup as a sweetener.


Any thick liquid that has a high sugar content and which is added to or poured over food as a flavouring.
Maple syrup
Pancake syrup
Peaches in syrup


Variant of syrup.


(by extension) Any viscous liquid.
Cough syrup


Dated form of syrup


A wig.


Dated form of syrup


(transitive) To convert or process into syrup.


A thick and viscid liquid made from the juice of fruits, herbs, etc., boiled with sugar.


(transitive) To add syrup to.


A thick and viscid saccharine solution of superior quality (as sugarhouse sirup or molasses, maple sirup); specifically, in pharmacy and often in cookery, a saturated solution of sugar and water (simple sirup), or such a solution flavored or medicated.
Lucent sirups tinct with cinnamon.


(transitive) To sabotage (a vehicle) by pouring syrup into the gas tank.


A thick sweet sticky liquid


Same as Sirup, Sirupy.


A thick sweet sticky liquid


A concentrated solution of sugar in water.
The bartender made a simple syrup for the cocktail.


A fruit-flavored liquid used in beverages.
Add some strawberry syrup to your soda.


A sweet liquid used as a topping.
Ice cream is delicious with chocolate syrup.


Which spelling is more common in American English?

Syrup is more common in American English.

Where is the spelling "sirup" more likely to be found?

In historical texts, older recipes, and some international English contexts.

What is syrup?

Syrup is a thick, sweet liquid used in cooking, beverages, and medicinal preparations.

What are common types of syrup?

Maple syrup, corn syrup, and simple syrup.

Are syrup and sirup the same thing?

Yes, they refer to the same substance.

Is sirup a recognized term in modern culinary use?

It is recognized but less commonly used than syrup.

What is sirup?

Sirup is an alternative spelling of syrup, less commonly used but correct.

Can both syrup and sirup be used interchangeably?

Yes, they are interchangeable.

Does the usage of sirup vary by region?

Yes, it is more common in certain regions and contexts outside of the U.S.

Does sirup have any specific regional usage?

It can be found in British English and some technical contexts.

Can sirup be found on product labels?

It is less common but possible on some international products.

Can syrup be used in beverages?

Yes, syrup is often used in beverages for sweetness and flavor.

Why is syrup the preferred spelling in American English?

It has become standardized in modern culinary and everyday language.

Do recipes typically use syrup or sirup?

Recipes typically use syrup.

Is there any technical preference for using sirup?

Sirup might be used in technical or historical documents.

Are there any differences in meaning between syrup and sirup?

No, they mean the same thing.

Is syrup used in medical contexts?

Yes, as in cough syrup.

What is the origin of the word syrup?

Derived from the Arabic word "sharāb" meaning drink.

Are there any culinary contexts where sirup is preferred?

Rarely; syrup is typically preferred.

Which spelling should I use in formal writing?

Use syrup in American English unless referring to historical or specialized texts where sirup might be appropriate.
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.

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