Europe’s problems sometimes dominated economic and market news.
They’ve also inspired me to investigate different ways of spelling and punctuating the combination of euro + zone.
First, let me point out that you should not capitalize the initial letter of “euro” unless it’s in a context where you’d also capitalize “dollar.” For example, in an article title or the first word of a sentence. Although many writers capitalize “euro,” it’s a currency, not a place.
When I first investigated this topic 10 years ago, plenty of sources used “euro zone” or “euro-zone,” but the tide seems to have shifted to “eurozone.” You can see the shift in the two images above from The Wall Street Journal that I captured about 10 years apart.
There is a trend to close up words, as I discussed in “Spelling tip: When in doubt, close it up.”
Euro + zone as a noun
Initially, I commonly saw the region spelled “euro zone” as two separate words, with no hyphen, in U.S. publications.
Euro + zone as an adjective
There are two schools of thought about whether to hyphenate compound adjectives, as I discussed in “Should you hyphenate ‘fixed income’?”
The Wall Street Journal used to hyphenate euro-zone when the paper’s reporters used the term as an adjective. You see an example in the image below from 10 years ago. (Please note, in the image the term “euro-zone” appeared as the first word of a sentence. That’s the only reason it is capitalized.)However, it seems to have migrated to “eurozone,” which fits with a trend toward closing up spaces in hyphenated words. Please note, in the image the term “euro-zone” appeared as the first word of a sentence. That’s the only reason it is capitalized.
Sources that used “eurozone” for the noun, also used it for the adjective.
What’s the best practice?
I go with eurozone. What about you?
Whatever you do, I hope you’re consistent. Consistency helps your readers understand you better.
Note: This post was updated in December 2022, but was initially published in 2012.