Tag Archives: Linguistics

Octopodes

In the following, my informant details an interesting fact he has heard regarding the plural pronunciation of the word “Octopus.”

So in the English language, the most common form of, the plural form, of “Octopus,” is like “Octopi,” people say a lot, or like “Octopuses,” um, or like “Octopodes,” [Ahct- oh – podes]  is actually what people say all the time, but if you actually like linguistically study it, the word “Octopus” is a Greek word, and “Octopi” is a like Latin rooted term I guess, I don’t know I’m not a linguist, but so that doesn’t… it’s actually not correct: The actual form is “Octopodes” [Ahct- oh – podes] because that’s Greek, but if you really think about it, it’s not pronounced Octopodes, [Ahct- oh – podes] because it’s Greek it’s pronounced Octopodes, [Ahct – tahp – ode – eis] which is the coolest thing ever, so if you ever happen to see multiple Octopus, Octopodes, [Ahct – tahp – ode – eis] just bring it up to all your friends, because it is the best news they will ever hear.

My informant said that he heard this from a friend in his dance company, who in turn claimed to have read it on Facebook. Interestingly, the pronunciation of the plural form of Octopus, can be found in several places on line, such as http://www.infoplease.com/askeds/plural-octopus.html or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plural_form_of_words_ending_in_-us and is interesting insofar as the linguistics behind the Greek word Octopus have become something of a limerick/riddle in english.