Since octopus is Greek in origin, the classical Greek plural is octopodes, a form that is still occasionally used (but very rarely). The plural form of octopus is octopuses or octopi. The standard plural in English of octopus is octopuses. [countable, uncountable] (plural octopuses) jump to other results. The plural form of octopus is octopuses (or occasionally octopodes). Like many nouns, it has a few acceptable plural forms. There are many ways that English manages to trip up its speakers, both native and non-native. enlarge image. 'All Intensive Purposes' or 'All Intents and Purposes'? 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. The possessive of each of them would follow the same rules as any other noun: octopuses', octopodes', octopi's, octopii's. You have been successfully subscribed to the Grammarly blog. Biden projected 46th President. 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. One of the most effective of these is a method of pluralization that generally follows a set of rules, but occasionally behaves unpredictably. 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. octopus definition: 1. a sea creature with a soft, oval body and eight tentacles (= long parts like arms) 2. a sea…. BESEIGED BY DEVILFISH. Octopi is the oldest plural of octopus, coming from the belief that Latin origins should have Latin endings. 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. ), 7 Nov. 1873. Although most people use the word octopuses as the plural form of an octopus, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, ‘octopuses’ and ‘octopi’ are both correct and the plural of octopus. The leading plural form is octopi, which is wrong.The net is not always an authoritative source of information. It’s simple! Interesting. After all, similar words that end in -us are pluralized with an -i ending, like foci, loci or alumni. The correct forms are octopuses, octopodes, or octopi. Learn a new word every day. Many people don’t like octopi, and you will rarely see it in edited works, but it does occasionally appear. Whistleblower changes tune, again, president-elect Macon Telegraph (Macon, GA), 24 Jun. The problem is, octopus derives from Greek. pi [ok-tuh-pahy]. The plural of octopus is almost as fascinating as the animal. This gives the tiny octopus the look of an orange ghost.Octopuses are about as smart as house cats. 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. Writing, grammar, and communication tips for your inbox. Thus, the plural of bacterium is bacteria, rather than bacteriums. 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. A fourth form octopods is occasionally used by scientists for taxonomic purposes. /ˈɑːktəpʊs/. 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. 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. Learn more. ", Our Word of the Year 'pandemic,' plus 11 more, monolith 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). Tone vs. As a word that comes from Greek, it follows Greek rules for plurals. any octopod of the genus Octopus, having a soft, oval body and eight sucker-bearing arms, living mostly at the bottom of the sea. In Latin, some plurals end with an i. Well-meaning people may tell you that -i is a Latin plural, but "octopus" comes from the Greek. What more can you learn about plurals and spelling? The Opisthoteuthis adorabilis’ arms are very short and have webbing in between each one. 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. The problem is, octopus derives from Greek. ), 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.) Such a range of options might prompt even the most patient learner of the language to say "what the hell? 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. However, the word octopus comes from Greek and the Greek plural form octopodes is still occasionally used. 1873, All three of these have been criticized in the past, some more than others. "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. 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. While this is true, the word in fact went from Greek to Latin, and only then to English. 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. The plural form of octopus is octopuses or octopi (hypercorrect). a sea creature with a soft round body and eight long arms, that is sometimes used for food Topics Fish and shellfish c1. In Latin, some plurals end with an i. The standard plural form in both American and British English has come to be octopuses, which has predominated for the last 100 years. The plural form octopi, formed according to rules for some Latin plurals, is incorrect. The plural form octopi, formed according to rules for some Latin plurals, is incorrect /ˈɒktəpəs/. The standard plural in English of octopus is octopuses, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. How to use a word that (literally) drives some pe... Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? The most popular plural form is octopuses. And from the Online Etymology Dictionary: octopus (n.) The true octopuses are members of the genus Octopus, a large group of widely distributed shallow-water cephalopods. 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. Set your young readers up for lifelong success. (See cephalopod.) Grammatical movements and language origins complicate the plurals of some words. Octopi appears to be the oldest of the three main plurals, dating back to the early 19th century. The word \"octopi,\" which follows Latin rules for plurals, is incorrect.Not all octopuses have long arms. Octopi, the supposed plural of octopus, is a favorite among fans of quirky words, but it has no etymological basis. However, sometimes words will come into English and keep an ending from their original language, particularly if that original language is Latin. 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. Lastly, octopodes stems from the belief that because octopus is originally Greek, it should have a Greek ending. 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. As the Merriam-Webster dictionary points out, people use three different terms, however: octopi, … Even so, "octopi" is a misspelling based on a misconception. Finding out the plural form of the word octopus, though,is going to require a little linguistic detective work. 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 plural is octopuses. We would go with "octopuses," a perfectly legitimate English plural, and the oldest attested to. It more or less rhymes, appropriately enough, with "don't say that please. The plural of “octopus” is finally clarified. Modern usage of octopodes is so infrequent that many people mistakenly create the erroneous plural form octopi, formed according to rules for Latin plurals. 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