There is no standardized spelling for pawpaw, which just goes to show how little known is the fruit. “Paw paw” as two separate words is common, including in dictionaries. However, I prefer “pawpaw.” I reason that it is a single word, not two. And if it were two words then ‘paw’ should be an adjective modifying a noun ‘paw’; which makes no sense. After all, we do not spell straw berry or pine apple or water melon.

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