Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! Shall we have the grammatical discourse first, or save it for later? 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. The plural of “octopus” is finally clarified. The plural form of octopus is octopuses or octopi. 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. A fourth form octopods is occasionally used by scientists for taxonomic purposes. The word \"octopi,\" which follows Latin rules for plurals, is incorrect.Not all octopuses have long arms. Well-meaning people may tell you that -i is a Latin plural, but "octopus" comes from the Greek. While it may sound peculiar to some there is nothing incorrect about this formation. 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. 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. 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. 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. 1873, All three of these have been criticized in the past, some more than others. One of the most effective of these is a method of pluralization that generally follows a set of rules, but occasionally behaves unpredictably. 'All Intensive Purposes' or 'All Intents and Purposes'? Like many nouns, it has a few acceptable plural forms. Lastly, octopodes stems from the belief that because octopus is originally Greek, it should have a Greek ending. This gives the tiny octopus the look of an orange ghost.Octopuses are about as smart as house cats. Octopi appears to be the oldest of the three main plurals, dating back to the early 19th... English Endings for English Words. In Latin, some plurals end with an i. 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). Octopi appears to be the oldest of the three main plurals, dating back to the early 19th century. ), 7 Nov. 1873. "Octopi" is also an acceptable choice, and one in wide use, but you run the risk of being informed that it's incorrect. Octopus, plural octopuses or octopi, in general, any eight-armed cephalopod (octopod) mollusk of the order Octopoda. How do you make octopus plural? There are four plural forms of "octopus": octopuses, octopodes, octopi, and octopii (note that the fourth isn't common at all). Thus, the plural of bacterium is bacteria, rather than bacteriums. But it isn't, so octopi is wrong. The true octopuses are members of the genus Octopus, a large group of widely distributed shallow-water cephalopods. Delivered to your inbox! In Latin, some plurals end with an i. 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. The plural is octopuses. 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. 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 … Writing, grammar, and communication tips for your inbox. pi (-pī′) 1. Octopi, the supposed plural of octopus, is a favorite among fans of quirky words, but it has no etymological basis. 'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'. a sea creature with a soft round body and eight long arms, that is sometimes used for food Topics Fish and shellfish c1. The Many Plurals of 'Octopus' Latin Endings for Latin Words. However, the word octopus comes from Greek and the Greek plural form octopodes is still occasionally used. 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. 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 leading plural form is octopi, which is wrong.The net is not always an authoritative source of information. The standard plural form in both American and British English has come to be octopuses, which has predominated for the last 100 years. any octopod of the genus Octopus, having a soft, oval body and eight sucker-bearing arms, living mostly at the bottom of the sea. 1880. What more can you learn about plurals and spelling? It more or less rhymes, appropriately enough, with "don't say that please. 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 form octopi, formed according to rules for some Latin plurals, is incorrect 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. USAGE The standard English plural of octopus is octopuses. 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. You have been successfully subscribed to the Grammarly blog. 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. octopi is neither the English plural nor the classical plural.octopi is what you get if you take octopus to be a second declension Latin noun. Why do some dictionaries also list octopi as a possibility? /ˈɑːktəpʊs/. As a word that comes from Greek, it follows Greek rules for plurals. 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. 2. The problem is, octopus derives from Greek. The problem is, octopus derives from Greek. The standard plural in English of octopus is octopuses. After all, similar words that end in -us are pluralized with an -i ending, like foci, loci or alumni. Learn more. Macon Telegraph (Macon, GA), 24 Jun. noun. The plural is octopuses. There are many ways that English manages to trip up its speakers, both native and non-native. "Octopi" is a commonly used plural, and it seems to make sense. The standard plural in English of octopus is octopuses, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. It … Check out words from the year you were born and more! 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. 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