Is "supremist" a pronunciation difference or a different word?

My husband always says “white supremists” instead of “white supremacists” (strange how often the topic comes up. Eek). Is he using a different word or a different pronunciation of the same word? He swears up and down that “supremist” is a word but I think he might be a bit nuts.

When I look up “supremist” I’m getting results for “supremacist” instead.

Google Fight is giving it as 1,190,000 vs. 99,900

To compare, “there” gets 2,780,000,000 and “thar” gets 17,000,000, for a ratio of 163:1. Supremacist/supremist is at a ratio of 12:1. So it’s at least more common than pirate speak, but I wouldn’t say that it’s anywhere near being as commonly accepted as the proper spelling.

Richard Lewis was on Olberman today and used “supremist”. Wierd.

That’s what inspired me to ask.

I think “supremist” is a relatively recent coinage by those who feel “supremacist” is too much of a mouthful. I wouldn’t be too surprised if it catches on. Webster’s New Millennium Dictionary of English (online at has it, but without any notes on its origin.

For what it’s worth, the only definition of “supremist” in the OED is as an “obsolete, rare” word meaning “one who takes upon himself supreme authority.” So it wasn’t standard usage back in '89 when the second edition was compiled.