Vampyre vs Vampire (And Vampi(y)re)
What is the difference between “vampyre” and “vampire”? Why do we in South Africa use “vampyre”?
The differences in terms of spelling are a matter of origin. “Vampyre” is the original old English spelling used before the more modern “vampire”. When one looks at the history of the words and their origins, it becomes obvious that they originated to refer to the mythical or legendary revenants of lore, since the fictional aspect did not really become established until more modern times.
Aside from that, there is preferential usage based on a) description of real living vampy(i)res and b) the fictional or mythical vampy(i)res. Of course, it’s not as simple to say which of the two means which, because in one region the ‘y’ spelling would mean the real variety while in another area the ‘i’ spelling would suffice.
This is why you sometimes see documents within the community which feature the “vampi(y)re” usage, in order to accommodate both views.
Here in SA we use the ‘y’ spelling to describe ourselves as real living Vampyres. We are not alone in this usage, as there are numerous other VC’s where this occurs – although it tends to be far more a matter of personal preference, so sometimes even in a VC where one usage may be more commonly used, a minority may use the other to mean the same thing.