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Plural for Platypus?

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571722.  Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:12 pm Reply with quote

Me and my friend have been wondering for a while: just what is the plural word for multiple Platypus's?(if that's correct). Is it just platypus, like sheep, or platypi, like cacti, or something else?


571749.  Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:27 pm Reply with quote

Isn't it Platypodes?

571758.  Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:31 pm Reply with quote

Is it? How did they go from Platypus to Platyplodes? o.o

571765.  Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:35 pm Reply with quote

If the name comes from Greek (rather than Latin), the plural of "-pus" is "-pode". This is true of "octupus". You would end it in "-i" if the word originally came from Latin.
I'm not sure about "cactus".

Sadurian Mike
571772.  Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:42 pm Reply with quote

The plural is "more than one platypus".

What do you call a cat that has just eaten an entire mallard?

A duck-filled fatty-puss.

Ion Zone
571826.  Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:43 pm Reply with quote

Platypi is the plural of platypus (also known as the try-classifying-this-one-Mr-Smartypants).

571833.  Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:54 pm Reply with quote

It is "platypuses".

Ion Zone
571839.  Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:05 pm Reply with quote

Platypi. :}

(Though platypi can also be the singular, I think.)

571858.  Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:26 pm Reply with quote

Points to djgordy for giving an entirely valid English language plural of "platypus".

As suggested by Moosh, Ameena, and others "platypodes" is also valid - the word is Greek and that would be the Greek plural. "Platypi" it just isn't.

Sadurian Mike
571859.  Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:30 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
"Platypi" it just isn't.

Unless baked in the oven with a pastry crust.

571861.  Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:34 pm Reply with quote

My 7 yr old is just doing a project on platypodes/platypuses so this is very timely. One of her 2 favourite animals is the octopus so can I just clarify that the plural is definitely 'octipodes' rather than octipi? Her other favourite animal is a star-nosed mole. Gorgeous!

571863.  Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:35 pm Reply with quote

Yes, it is "octopodes" - it came up on The Show at some point (and I expect someone set off the awoogas for suggesting "octopi") :).

571901.  Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:33 pm Reply with quote

Yup. Although in English, I think I'd prefer "octopuses".

613467.  Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:05 pm Reply with quote

The OED gives octopuses, octopodes, octopi, in that order.

Octopi comes from the incorrect assumption that octopus is a second declension Latin noun. The Latin for octopus would be polypus. I would guess that polypi could be correct.

Platypus is itself plural (like sheep) or can be rendered "platypuses" or "platypodes." Platypi is not accepted.

As a general rule of thumb, one should not use a non-English plural in English unless one knows what one is doing. Please use "platypus" or "platypuses" to avoid being either a linguistic pedant or wrong.

Interestingly, some medical journals in the US pluralize "penis" as "penes." Most lay folk say, "penises." Actually, most folk avoid talking about more than one at a time.

Curious Danny
613635.  Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:30 am Reply with quote

A man wanted to order some new animals for his zoo.
He sent a note to his supplier.

    I request 2 platypuses (doesn't look right, in the bin)
    I request 2 platypodes (that isn't it, surely?)
    I request 2 platypus (not clear enough)
    I request 2 platypi (god no!)

I request a platypus
P.S Make it 2.


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