Denier - denyer

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  • The noun meaning 'someone who denies' is traditionally and conventionally spelled denier, and pronounced like the verb from which it deives, 'to deny': 'de-NIGH-er', IPA: /də ˈnaɪ ə/. The spelling denyer is seen from time to time in current (2021) discussion of politics, ideology and so on, as in 'climate change denyer' (a person who refuses to accept current orthodoxy about planetary changes in climate, global warming and so on); 'Holocaust denyer' (one who refuses to accept that the Nazis killed millions of Jews and other 'undesirables' in the 1940s); 'Trump denyer' (an opponent of President Donald Trump, as in "Trumpdenyers fail to see the progress made since Trump took office or fail to assign him any credit for his successes"); and many more. All of these should be written denier in British academic English.
    • Denier used to be a term in law for "the act of denying or refusing" (OED 2021, s. v. denier, n.2).
    • Denyer is the spelling of a British surname.
  • There is also a noun denier (pronounced 'DEN-i-eh' IPA: /ˈdɛ niː e (or ə or eɪ)/. This is a measure of fineness, commonly seen in the description of women's stockings: "the weight in grammes of 9,000 metres of a filament or yarn. The denier system is used as the standard count for filament silk as well as for rayon, cellulose acetate, nylon and other man-made fibres" (Textile Terms & Defs. (ed. 4), cited OED 2021. Stockings and tights sold as 'ultra-sheer' are below 10 denier; 'sheer' are between 10 and 30 denier; and 'opaque' are 30 or more denier.
Etymological note: this denier is a French derivation of the Latin denarius. It came to be seen as a worthless piece of money, and was thus applied to anything small and worthless. In measurement, denier was used as a measure of weight, a 'pennyweight'. The surname Denyer is said to be a nickname - the remembrance of a man similarly regarded by his community as small and insignificant.