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netherworld vs underworld Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 9:14:59 AM
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Joined: 7/4/2012
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netherworld
nether world

Which spelling of the word is the more common among native speakers?

Thanks.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 9:48:22 AM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Well, to be honest, neither of them.

Occasionally in fantasy books (ghosts and ghouls types of books) you will hear of the netherworld, but it is not the sort of subject which would crop up in conversation.

Looking through a few examples (from the n-gram viewer), "nether world" was used most commonly until about 1940. "Netherworld" was hardly ever used in that period.
It was used in learned books (geology or history) to refer to caves and mines or the Egyptian underworld.

In the 1950s and 1960s, both 'nether world' and 'netherworld' were used to mean the areas of cities which were most involved with crime and vice.

Since about 1960, "netherworld" has been popular as the home of devils, demons, vampires etc in popular fantasy fiction.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Koh Elaine
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 11:08:53 AM
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Joined: 7/4/2012
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Thanks, DragOnspeaker.
NKM
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 5:30:15 PM

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Location: Corinth, New York, United States
As DragO says, neither form is something you're likely to hear (or use) in everyday conversation. "Nether" is not a word commonly used nowadays.

Koh Elaine
Posted: Friday, July 07, 2017 10:22:51 PM
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Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 2,137
Neurons: 8,756
Thanks, NKM.
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