While lots of people think stuttering vs stammering are two different terms used to describe two different conditions, they actually both represent a condition called disfluent speech. Disfluent speech describes any various breaks, irregularities, or non-lexical vocables which occur in otherwise fluent speech. Let’s take a look below at the differences between stuttering vs stammering.

Disfluent Speech

Disfluent speech is the terminology used to describe various inconsistencies in otherwise fluent speech. While all speakers are disfluent at times, they are not subject to prolonged periods of inconsistent speech behavior. Those suffering from disfluent speech may grow out of the condition as they reach adulthood. Disfluent speech is more common in younger people but can affect people of all ages.


Stuttering is a term that originated in the United States with American English. While stuttering vs stammering describes the same symptoms, the terminology used to describe these symptoms is based on the country in question. The term stuttering is commonly used in both the United States, New Zealand, and other American English-speaking areas.


Stammering is a term that originated in the United Kingdom. While stuttering originated from American English, stammering originated from British English. Stammering terminology is commonly used throughout Great Britain and surrounding areas with British English speakers. Stammering was the primary term used to describe disfluent speech up until the 1960s. Post-1960s, stuttering took over as the primary term when referencing disfluent speech.

What Other Differences Are There?

While you might think that there are more differences between stuttering vs stammering, the differences are minimal. Other than the country or type of English being spoken, the only difference between the two terms is the spelling. Both represent disfluent speech and the conditions that come with it. There are no differences between stuttering vs stammering regarding the conditions or symptoms they represent.

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