Premier or premiere? What about premium?

25 May
Premier or premiere? What about premium?

I’m going to admit now, because there are things that all of us editors have to look up (right? Please share! Better to check than be wrong) and this is one of the ones I have had trouble with in the past and have had to commit to memory. Which one means the most important and which one means the first performance?

Premier means the first in importance or order, and this extends to being used for a head of state (in Australia and Canada, it’s the official title for the chief minister of a state or government, everywhere else it can be used to denote the head of state, “The British premier stated that …”).

A premiere is the first showing of a film or the first performance of a musical work or play. So you go to a film premiere, not a film premier.

Premium has several meanings, one of which is superior and usually more expensive – premium cat food, for example (a premium is also the amount you pay for insurance or a sum added to a normal sum in order to get something better).

You can find more troublesome pairs here, and here’s the index to them all!


Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Errors, Language use



4 responses to “Premier or premiere? What about premium?

  1. White Ink Limited

    May 25, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Ha! I looked up one of those just today! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Don Massenzio

    May 26, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Here is a great post from the Libro editing blog that describes the uses of premier, premiere and premium. Of course, I still struggle with theater and theatre.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liz Dexter

      May 30, 2017 at 9:04 am

      Theatre and theater is relatively easy: theatre is British English (and Canadian, Australian) and theater is US English.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Coulian

    May 28, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Reblogged this on Melissa York and commented:
    I did not know the difference between Premier and Premiere. Very good to know!!

    Liked by 1 person


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