However, sometimes words will come into English and keep an ending from their original language, particularly if that original language is Latin. 1873, All three of these have been criticized in the past, some more than others. The plural form of octopus is octopuses or octopi. Object found in Utah desert, recant The plural form of octopus is octopuses or octopi (hypercorrect). The plural is octopuses. enlarge image. Lastly, octopodes stems from the belief that because octopus is originally Greek, it should have a Greek ending. However, “octopus” actually comes from Greek, so it later got the super-rare pluralization, “octopodes” (pronounced ock-TOP-uh-deez). 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. 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. But it isn't, so octopi is wrong. 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. Learn more. /ˈɒktəpəs/. How do you make octopus plural? 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. C'mon, English, get your act together." Octopuses is the next plural, which gives the word an English ending to match its adoption as an English word. After all, similar words that end in -us are pluralized with an -i ending, like foci, loci or alumni. Delivered to your inbox! The standard plural form in both American and British English has come to be octopuses, which has predominated for the last 100 years. Octopi, the supposed plural of octopus, is a favorite among fans of quirky words, but it has no etymological basis. Whistleblower changes tune, again, president-elect 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. Grammatical movements and language origins complicate the plurals of some words. You have been successfully subscribed to the Grammarly blog. 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.— But it is always better to be prepared with your irregular faux-classical plurals—good life advice in general, really—so here is a brief explanation of your choices. Interesting. ), 7 Nov. 1873. Incident of a Voyage in the Banda Sea—An Octopus Who Is Injured by a Sailor Calls Upon His Companions for Help—They Respond Promptly, and a Gang of Octopi Take Control of the Deck of the Vessel, Driving the Crew Below.— (headline and caption) Chicago Daily Tribune, 15 Jan. 1888, It is certain that the octopi do attain to a very large size in the Indian seas; and there is nothing improbable in their taking hold of a man and drowning him.— Penny Magazine for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (London, Eng. However, the word octopus comes from Greek and the Greek plural form octopodes is still occasionally used. In Latin, some plurals end with an i. Octopus, plural octopuses or octopi, in general, any eight-armed cephalopod (octopod) mollusk of the order Octopoda. Like many nouns, it has a few acceptable plural forms. 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. . If you ask any group of people on the street, “What do you call more than oneoctopus”, most of the people in that group will probably say octopuses. It … So, you see, if octopuswere an English word, the plural form would obviously just be octopuses, since it is a noun ending in ⟨s⟩ and, in English, the way you find the plural form of such a noun is just by adding -esto the end. Tone vs. How Octopi Took Possession Of Schooner. While this is true, the word in fact went from Greek to Latin, and only then to English. The problem is, octopus derives from Greek. Since octopus is Greek in origin, the classical Greek plural is octopodes, a form that is still occasionally used (but very rarely). Modern usage of octopodes is so infrequent that many people mistakenly create the erroneous plural form octopi, formed according to rules for Latin plurals. THE PLURAL OF ‘OCTOPUS’ & RELATED CEPHALOPOD MYSTERIES… The correct plural of ‘octopus’ is a singular mystery wrapped in tentacles and hidden beneath a rock. The i was a mistake, but so many people adopted it that it became an acceptable alternative. The plural of octopus is almost as fascinating as the animal. The Many Plurals of 'Octopus' Latin Endings for Latin Words. a sea creature with a soft round body and eight long arms, that is sometimes used for food Topics Fish and shellfish c1. It more or less rhymes, appropriately enough, with "don't say that please. 16 Apr. The standard plural in English of octopus is octopuses. And from the Online Etymology Dictionary: octopus (n.) Learn a new word every day. The standard plural in English of octopus is octopuses, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. "— The Arkansas Gazette (Little Rock, AR), 20 Oct. 1886. 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. Many people don’t like octopi, and you will rarely see it in edited works, but it does occasionally appear. The plural of “octopus” is finally clarified. What more can you learn about plurals and spelling? 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. 1 : any of a genus (Octopus) of cephalopod mollusks that have eight muscular arms equipped with two rows of suckers broadly : any octopod excepting the paper nautilus. This state of affairs is not so much the fault of the English language as it is of the people who speak it, who have been debating the proper way to pluralize octopus for a very long time. (See cephalopod.) Rule of thumb: if English gets the opportunity to trip you up, it will. Advice: stick with octopuses in the U.S. Macon Telegraph (Macon, GA), 24 Jun. An article from over 140 years ago, "Octopus Philology" (titled in the clickbait of that era) offers three possibilities, admittedly sneering at two of them: But as the Octopus grew and multiplied, it became necessary to speak of him in the plural; and here a whole host of difficulties arose. 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. However, the word octopus comes from Greek and the Greek plural form octopodes is still occasionally used. 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. Check out words from the year you were born and more! Thus, the plural of bacterium is bacteria, rather than bacteriums. 'All Intensive Purposes' or 'All Intents and Purposes'? But octopus comes from ancient Greek, where its plural is octopodes, and though it came to English via scientific Latin—one of the late varieties of Latin that … 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. 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. Octopi appears to be the oldest of the three main plurals, dating back to the early 19th... English Endings for English Words. ), 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.) USAGE The standard English plural of octopus is octopuses. The plural form octopi, formed according to rules for some Latin plurals, is incorrect As a word that comes from Greek, it follows Greek rules for plurals. BESEIGED BY DEVILFISH. 'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'. The true octopuses are members of the genus Octopus, a large group of widely distributed shallow-water cephalopods. Currently, octopuses is the most common form in the UK as well as the US; octopodes is rare, and octopi is often objected to as incorrect. noun. There are three plural forms of octopus: octopuses, octopi, and octopodes. ", Our Word of the Year 'pandemic,' plus 11 more, monolith The correct forms are octopuses, octopodes, or octopi. There are many ways that English manages to trip up its speakers, both native and non-native. How to use a word that (literally) drives some pe... Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? Writing, grammar, and communication tips for your inbox. 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. 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). Set your young readers up for lifelong success. [countable, uncountable] (plural octopuses) jump to other results. The word \"octopi,\" which follows Latin rules for plurals, is incorrect.Not all octopuses have long arms. 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). Grammatically speaking, the plural for octopus is octopuses. There are four plural forms of "octopus": octopuses, octopodes, octopi, and octopii (note that the fourth isn't common at all). octopus definition: 1. a sea creature with a soft, oval body and eight tentacles (= long parts like arms) 2. a sea…. Even so, "octopi" is a misspelling based on a misconception. "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. The plural form octopi, formed according to rules for some Latin plurals, is incorrect. The standard plural in English of octopus is octopuses. Biden projected 46th President. Shall we have the grammatical discourse first, or save it for later? The three main plurals for octopus come from the different ways the English language adopts plurals. A fourth form octopods is occasionally used by scientists for taxonomic purposes. The form was created by English speakers out of a mistaken belief that octopus is Latin and hence pluralized with an -i ending. Why do some dictionaries also list octopi as a possibility? The plural form of octopus is octopuses (or occasionally octopodes). pi [ok-tuh-pahy]. One of the most effective of these is a method of pluralization that generally follows a set of rules, but occasionally behaves unpredictably. However, the word octopus comes from Greek, and the Greek plural form is octopodes ( |äk'täp??dez|). Octopi is the oldest plural of octopus, coming from the belief that Latin origins should have Latin endings. The problem is, octopus derives from Greek. We Got You This Article on 'Gift' vs. 'Present', Study Up With Our Official SCRABBLE Dictionary. ), 23 Aug. 1834. See more. We would go with "octopuses," a perfectly legitimate English plural, and the oldest attested to. 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. While it may sound peculiar to some there is nothing incorrect about this formation. Octopuses have a relatively short life expectancy, with some species living for as little as six months. Octopi appears to be the oldest of the three main plurals, dating back to the early 19th century. In Latin, some plurals end with an i. The leading plural form is octopi, which is wrong.The net is not always an authoritative source of information. /ˈɑːktəpʊs/. More exactly, the word "octopus", which defines a sea creature with eight long arms, doesn't even originate from 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. Any of various carnivorous marine cephalopod mollusks chiefly of the family Octopodidae, having a soft body, eight arms with suckers, a large distinct head, and a mouth with a strong beak. any octopod of the genus Octopus, having a soft, oval body and eight sucker-bearing arms, living mostly at the bottom of the sea. Such a range of options might prompt even the most patient learner of the language to say "what the hell? pi (-pī′) 1. The Opisthoteuthis adorabilis’ arms are very short and have webbing in between each one. This gives the tiny octopus the look of an orange ghost.Octopuses are about as smart as house cats. As the Merriam-Webster dictionary points out, people use three different terms, however: octopi, … 2. "Octopi" is also an acceptable choice, and one in wide use, but you run the risk of being informed that it's incorrect. The possessive of each of them would follow the same rules as any other noun: octopuses', octopodes', octopi's, octopii's. The plural is octopuses. something likened to an octopus, as an organization with many forms of far-reaching influence or control. The most popular plural form is octopuses. 2 : something that resembles an octopus especially in having many centrally directed branches an octopus of a corporation which lends, buys, produces, and sells — Atlantic. 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