Learn English – Are there any words I can use to disambiguate “biweekly”


We have two words for events occurring in periods of years – biannual meaning twice a year, and biennial meaning once every two years.

However, my colleagues talk about having meetings biweekly. This causes a lot of confusion, since it can mean either once every two weeks or twice a week.

We can use fortnightly to indicate once every two weeks and help disambiguate that way. Are there any other words we could use which could help, particularly words which mean "twice a week"? I'm looking particularly because some of my colleagues speak English only as a second language, and find fortnightly difficult to remember.

Best Answer

Avoid biweekly altogether. Use fortnightly for "once every two weeks", and twice a week for, well, "twice a week".

Not everything has to be a single word, so don't be afraid to use more than one word when you want to use clear, understandable, unambiguous language.

If they have problems with fortnightly, use every other week, or let them into a little secret: fortnight comes from "fourteen nights", or two weeks.

Edit: From the comments it's clear many Americans won't understand or are uncomfortable with fortnight so, to be safe, use the aforementioned every other week.