Posted by: Jack Henry | May 10, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Premier, Part Two

In response to my last post about premier and premiere, some readers wrote to ask about the Canadian title premier. How is it spelled, and what does it mean?

How Is Premier Spelled?

Whenever the word premier is used to refer to a government official, it is spelled premier. Remember the definition that we learned last week:

· premier (adjective): first in position, rank, or importance

When we talk about "a premier" or "the premier," we are using premier as a noun instead of an adjective, but it still refers to a person who is first in position, rank, or importance.

What Does Premier Mean?

The title premier means different things in different countries.

In Canada, premier refers to the head of government for one of Canada’s 10 provinces or 3 territories (a title roughly equivalent to governor in the United States).

These leaders were formerly known as prime ministers. The word premier was used to avoid confusion with the head of the national government, also called the prime minister. Premier is now the official title.

Australia and South Africa similarly use the title premier to refer to the head of government for a state or province.

Other countries (including Cambodia, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Macedonia, and Serbia) use premier to refer to the head of government for the entire country. In some of these countries, premier is the official title; in others, it is a colloquialism for prime minister.

Ben Ritter | Technical Editor | Symitar®
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