Is Octopi the Correct Plural of Octopus?

Discussion in 'Physiology and Biology' started by Burstsovenergy24, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. Burstsovenergy24

    Burstsovenergy24 Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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  2. joel_ang

    joel_ang Architeuthis Registered

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    Its octopuses, at least thats how I write it :) .

    Theres sepia bandensis and latimanus........
     
  3. joel_ang

    joel_ang Architeuthis Registered

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    Its octopuses, at least thats how I write it :) .

    Theres sepia bandensis and latimanus........
     
  4. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hmmmm I go for 1 octopus, 2 octopus, 3 octopus............! Good for arguments on a cold winters evening :twisted:

    J
     
  5. NickA5582

    NickA5582 Sepia elegans Registered

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    I think it's octopi, but it can also be just octopus, octopods, octopoids, octopodes, octopussies, etc etc. I just use octopus.

    :welcome: to TONMO, Henlar!
     
  6. Burstsovenergy24

    Burstsovenergy24 Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    I think the most correct form is octopods. :) But I use octopuses generally. :)
     
  7. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Andy, the best explanation I've heard thus far. I'd never given this consideration until the matter was raised many months ago (this is, to a certain extent, thread or at the very least subject duplication). It is covered somewhere online, and I think you are correct in the spelling 'octopusses' - though for all I know on the subject matter I could be speaking through a hole in my head (I depend on the likes of you folk to ciorrect me in such matters).
    O
     
  8. myopsida

    myopsida Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Actually, "octopusses" is not really a proper pluralization of octopus, since the word is not Latin (if it was it would be "octopi") but Latinized Greek. If you want to be pedantic, it should be pluralized as "octopodes."
     
  9. Burstsovenergy24

    Burstsovenergy24 Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    :twisted: Yes, I love those. :twisted:
     
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Actually, you can find an answer to this question.

    The preferred plural of octopus in English is actually octopuses (one "s"), at least in the US.

    I checked in the current edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. This is based on current usage.

    I need to check elsewhere (in the OED) for UK preferences.

    Nancy
     
  11. Architeuthis

    Architeuthis Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I believe the plural form most commonly used would be octopuses, but I prefer octopi.
     
  12. Steve O'Shea

    Steve O'Shea Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Looks like I was speaking through a hole in my head.

    I prefer squid 8)
     
  13. joel_ang

    joel_ang Architeuthis Registered

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    Here's the British version, which apparently is the same

    Definition
    octopus
    noun [C] plural octopuses or octopi
    a sea creature with a soft oval body and eight tentacles (= long arm-like parts)
     
  14. Darwinishungry

    Darwinishungry Cuttlefish Registered

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    Pl. form of Octopus

    What exactly is the plural form of octopus? I've heard octopusES and octoPI from many different places. At m-w.com and dictionary.com, they have both down as pl. forms. They both can't be right, can they?
    :bugout:

    -DIH
     
  15. Cephkid

    Cephkid Sepia elegans Supporter

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    YES THEY ARE! :shock: "Entirely to many plural names" is even on their resume! :P
    Octopi
    Octopuses
    Octopods
    Octopus
    etc...
     
  16. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    Yep, one of those words that has numerous spellings...cephkid is correct...either one is just fine. There does seem to be a leaning in scientific papers to use "octopi" or "octopii" recently...
    greg
     
  17. Melissa

    Melissa Larger Pacific Striped Octopus Supporter

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    Linguistic sticklers will tell you that it should be octopoda, in keeping with the Greek origin of the word. The plural i or ii is from Latin. Scientific names are often based on Latin words, so this may be why scientists use it in the stuff Greg reads. You can confidently say octopuses, too. Or you can skip it entirely and refer to "all members of the genus Octopus."

    Melissa
     
  18. Armstrong

    Armstrong Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Melissa's right, infact...OCTOPI is the false plural for Octopus.

    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. 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.
     
  19. Darwinishungry

    Darwinishungry Cuttlefish Registered

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    WoW! Thank you all!

    I thought something was strange. You guys are so awesome!

    -DIH :notworth:
     
  20. myopsida

    myopsida Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Its from Greek. Therefore the plural is Octopodes.
    Ok, we don't live in ancient Greece, but (being pedantic), OCTOPODES
     

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