Heyday or Hayday – What’s the Difference?

Over the course of your writing career, you will need to discuss events that happened in the past. Perhaps the past was a better time for the subject of your writing—maybe you are reminiscing about the glory days of your youth or about a time when your personal hero wielded the most influence over his sport or field.

Nostalgia can only carry you so far without the help of an expansive vocabulary, though. Golden age, high water mark, and heyday are words and phrases that can help you better describe such a period.

But is it heyday or hayday? What about heydey? Read on to discover the correct way to spell this word.

What is the Difference Between Heyday and Hayday?

In this post, I will compare heyday vs. hayday. I will outline which of these two spellings is correct and the correct context in which to use it.

I will also give you a mnemonic device that you can use when choosing either heyday or hayday becomes difficult.

When to Use Heyday

heyday versus hayday What does heyday mean? The word heyday is a noun. A heyday is a peak of success for a person, group or idea.

For example,

  • In his heyday, Nolan Ryan could throw a baseball over 108 miles per hour.
  • During the heyday of American prohibition, industrial alcohol was poisoned to make it unfit to be distilled.
  • In Q3 2016, 91% of all profits made from smartphones were made by Apple.
  • Motorola still had loyal fans from its heyday in the early 2000s, Mr. Yang felt, and selling two brands could help the combined company grab market share. –The Wall Street Journal

When to Use Hayday

Definition of hayday definition of heyday definitionWhat does hayday mean? Hayday is a common misspelling of the word heyday. Heydey is another misspelling, although it is even more rare.

See the below graph for a visual. It charts hayday vs. heyday vs. heyday over the past 200 years.

hay day meaning

Even though it is neither scientifically precise nor exhaustively accurate, it gives us useful insight regarding the spelling of this word.

Heyday has been the preferred form since at least 1800. Although heydey saw a brief period of infrequent use during the first half of the 20th century, very few writers have ever used the hayday spelling. This trend holds true in both American and British English, as you can see in the charts below.

define heyday

heydays meaning

Trick to Remember the Difference

Define hayday and define heydayHeyday is the only accepted spelling of this word. Neither hayday nor heydey is correct. Therefore, you should never use them.

Choosing heyday over hayday can be difficult, until you remember that hayday contains the word hay, and hay is for horses.

  • Hay is for horses, not for the word heyday.

This may be a silly mnemonic, but the silliness allows it to stick in your mind. By remembering this tool, you can always remind yourself that heyday is the correct version of this word.


Is it heyday or hayday? The word heyday refers to a time of a person’s greatest success.

  • Heyday is the correct spelling.
  • Hayday and heydey are both misspellings.

Since hay is for horses, you should never spell this word hayday. Choose heyday instead for all writing contexts.

Don’t’ sacrifice your credibility over a simple spelling error. Always be sure to check this website for help with confusing words and other writing topics.