plural for octopus
The noun octopus has a Greek root. Given that most people don't often encounter multiple specimens of this genus of cephalopod mollusks it is unlikely that you will ever find yourself in sudden need of deciding which plural form is correct. Find more words! If you're interested in choosing the word that is most likely to be considered correct and understandable by your audience you would do well to opt for either octopuses or octopi. BESEIGED BY DEVILFISH. See more. The correct forms are octopuses, octopodes, or octopi. Octopi, the supposed plural of octopus, is a favorite among fans of quirky words, but it has no etymological basis.The form was created by English speakers out of a mistaken belief that octopus is Latin and hence pluralized with an -i ending. ", monolith Since “octopus” is a Greek word, the correct plural is NOT “octopi”, a Latin plural structure. The rarest of the three, octopodes came into possession of its ending from the belief some people had that this is a Greek word and should have a Greek ending (and also from the belief that there is no word which cannot be improved by making it less comprehensible). Octopuses have a relatively short life expectancy, with some species living for as little as six months. The plural form of octopus is octopuses (or occasionally octopodes). It appears that the keeper, whilst engaged in cleaning out the tank occupied by the octopodes, was suddenly seized by the leg (fortunately he had sea boots on) by the largest of the octopodes, which fastened four of his tentacles round the leg of the boot, and with the other four held firmly on to the rocks forming the back of the tank.— The North-Eastern Gazette (Middlesbrough, Eng. How to use a word that (literally) drives some pe... Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? ), 23 Aug. 1834. You know, this is actually a great question, one that I think a lot of people will be interested in learning the answer to. While it may sound peculiar to some there is nothing incorrect about this formation. However, the word octopus comes from Greek and the Greek plural form octopodes is still occasionally used. The problem is, octopus derives from Greek. Octopodes, it should be noted, takes a slightly different pronunciation than the other two words, placing the emphasis on the second syllable, rather than the first. Octopuses is the next plural, which gives the word an English ending to match its adoption as an English word. ), 5 Sept. 1879, There will be no huge tanks filled with mere "show" monsters—wallowing porpoises and cherub-like turtles and grim octopodes.— The Daily Telegraph (London, Eng.) Object found in Utah desert, recant How do you make octopus plural? Octopus definition, any octopod of the genus Octopus, having a soft, oval body and eight sucker-bearing arms, living mostly at the bottom of the sea. C'mon, English, get your act together." More exactly, the word "octopus", which defines a sea creature with eight long arms, doesn't even originate from 1873, All three of these have been criticized in the past, some more than others. Some daring spirits with little Latin and less Greek, rushed upon octopi; as for octopuses, a man would as soon think of swallowing one of the animals thus described as pronounce such a word at a respectable tea-table. Although it is often supposed that octopi is the ‘correct’ plural of octopus, and it has been in use for longer than the usual Anglicized plural octopuses, it in fact originates as an error. The plural form of octopus is octopuses or octopi (hypercorrect) . The plural of octopus is octopuses . Delivered to your inbox! 2015, He meandered on for fifty minutes in a long and rambling tirade ... adorned with gloomy forebodings of a time near at hand when he, together with all the other horny-handed sons of toil (by the way his hands were very nice and white) would be enslaved, and education denied their children by those "octopuses," the "millionaires. There are many ways that English manages to trip up its speakers, both native and non-native. We would go with "octopuses," a perfectly legitimate English plural, and the oldest attested to. Why do some dictionaries also list octopi as a possibility? Lastly, octopodes stems from the belief that because octopus is … Modern usage of octopodes is so infrequent that many people mistakenly create the erroneous plural form octopi, formed according to rules for Latin plurals. Check out words from the year you were born and more! And from the Online Etymology Dictionary: octopus (n.) octopus. The -i ending comes from the belief that words of Latin origin should have Latin ending in English (while octopus may ultimately come from Greek it had a stay in New Latin before arriving here). In Latin, some plurals end with an i. Mood: How to Use Tone and Mood in Your Writing, 5 Writing "Rules" That Are Really Guidelines, Beware of These Common Consistency Issues in Writing. The plural of octopus is almost as fascinating as the animal. ), 7 Nov. 1873. People are up in arms about it. This seems extraordinarily unfair: A dull-looking fish lives for centuries while the cuttlefish, in their chromatic splendor, and the, Sealy also said that drainage pipes combine two things. Find more words! Octopuses is the next plural, which gives the word an English ending to match its adoption as an English word. And just to keep people on their toes, certain words of Latin extraction may be pluralized with either English or Latin endings: multiple stadium may be either stadia or stadiums. Many people don’t like octopi, and you will rarely see it in edited works, but it does occasionally appear. The plural form octopi, formed according to rules for some Latin plurals, is incorrect. The Standard Oil Company, says the Louisville Courier-Journal, is one of the great octopuses of time, absorbing everything that comes within its reach, and quite killing off everything in its own line of business in the way of competition.— Set your young readers up for lifelong success, Study Up With Our Official SCRABBLE Dictionary. Writing, grammar, and communication tips for your inbox. Such a range of options might prompt even the most patient learner of the language to say "what the hell? Large octopuses have been known to catch and kill some species of sharks. "Octopi" is also an acceptable choice, and one in wide use, but you run the risk of being informed that it's incorrect. The three main plurals for octopus come from the different ways the English language adopts plurals. The standard plural in English of octopus is octopuses. "— The Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock, AR), 20 Oct. 1886. The current champion in the Battle of Troublesome Pluralization is octopus, which, depending on which dictionary is consulted, may be written in three different ways: octopi, octopuses, and octopodes. You can either use 1.“octopus” as its own plural, in which case the plural possessive would be to add the possessive apostrophe to “octopus” making octopus’ (as in English), or The three main plurals for octopus come from the different ways the English language adopts plurals. Advice: stick with octopuses in the U.S. The plural is octopuses. It’s simple! Octopus stems from the Greek word oktopous, and technically, Greek words ending in -pus (like platypus) should be made plural by adding -podes (meaning feet) to the end. Our language takes words from a wide variety of sources; generally when a noun enters into English it is pluralized as an English word, rather than in its native form. "Octopi" is mentioned by some dictionaries as an acceptable plural form of "octopus" because several words originating from Latin end in "i" in their plural form. Macon Telegraph (Macon, GA), 24 Jun. Among the damaged coral we saw free-swimming moray eels, octopuses, and several anemones with their resident clownfish. As the Merriam-Webster dictionary points out, people use three different terms, however: octopi, octopuses, and octopodes. 'All Intensive Purposes' or 'All Intents and Purposes'? You have been successfully subscribed to the Grammarly blog. When octopus is used in a figurative sense ("something that resembles an octopus especially in having many centrally directed branches") this seems to be the preferred plural. Octopus is not a simple Latin word of the second declension , but a Latinized form of the Greek word oktopous , and its ‘correct’ plural would logically be octopodes . In this condition of affairs, we are glad to know that a few resolute people have begun to talk about Octopods, which is, of course, the nearest English approach to the proper plural.— The Bradford Observer (West Yorkshire, Eng. In Latin, some plurals end with an i. The plural form of octopus is the animal version of there, their, they’re. It’s simple! Octopuses (which may rarely also be found rendered as octopusses) dates from slightly later in the 19th century, and is based not so much on a belief as it is on the habit of giving English words English endings.