go to content

Do You Know The Correct Plural Form Of "Octopus"?

We got the deets from the experts.

Posted on

As far as eight-legged creatures go, the octopus pretty much reigns supreme. But what happens when you have more than one octopus? What is the plural of "octopus"?

Their expert brains told me that the most correct form was "octopuses," so problem solved, right????

Flickr / Creative Commons / Daniel Gies / Via Flickr: daniel_gies

I mean, they would know, they are the OCTOPUS EXPERTS.

Except that some people in the comments highlighted a whole new plural form I've never heard of: "octopodes."

Claire de Louraille / BuzzFeed

OCTOPODES????

So I went back to Chris Payne, Alicia Bitondo, and Bret Grasse, who told me that while "octopodes" is technically fine, the best plural form is still "octopuses."

Flickr / Creative Commons / Mark Yokoyama / Via Flickr: theactionitems

"Octopodes" is fine because the root of "octopus" is Greek, like "octopuses." "Octopuses" is better because it's the most common English plural form.

"Octopi," however, is a Latin form, and therefore totally incorrect. Chris Payne lamented the use of "octopi" because "unfortunately ... it just 'sounds' correct."

Even our own BuzzFeed copy editors weighed in on the "octopodes" vs. "octopuses" debate.

Flickr / Creative Commons / Eugene Lim / Via Flickr: eugenelimphotography

WE'RE #TEAMOCTOPUSES.

Note from our copy chief: "Octopi" is an accepted variant in the dictionary but mainly because it falls into the category of "words people use incorrectly so often that they wind up in the dictionary after a while."

So it's STILL "octopuses," OKAY???

  1. So let's settle this once and for all. What is the most correct plural form of "octopus"????

    "Octopuses," because that's LITERALLY what the experts say and it is the most correct.
    "Octopodes," because I'm fancy as fuck.
    "Octopi," because FUCK EVERYTHING.

Do You Know The Correct Plural Form Of "Octopus"?

Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
Take quizzes and chill with the BuzzFeed app.
Get the app
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later
Looks like we are having a problem on the server.
So let's settle this once and for all. What is the most correct plural form of "octopus"????
  1.  
    vote votes
    "Octopuses," because that's LITERALLY what the experts say and it is the most correct.
  2.  
    vote votes
    "Octopodes," because I'm fancy as fuck.
  3.  
    vote votes
    "Octopi," because FUCK EVERYTHING.

Contact Claire de Louraille at claire.delouraille@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.