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

We got the deets from the experts.

Posted on October 14, 2015, at 4:46 p.m. ET

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"?

Claire de Louraille / BuzzFeed

While talking to Monterey Bay Aquarium aquarists Chris Payne, Alicia Bitondo, and Bret Grasse about another post, I asked them which plural form of "octopus" is the right one, "octopi" or "octopuses."

Claire de Louraille / BuzzFeed

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


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


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"????

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So let's settle this once and for all. What is the most correct plural form of "octopus"????
    vote votes
    "Octopuses," because that's LITERALLY what the experts say and it is the most correct.
    vote votes
    "Octopodes," because I'm fancy as fuck.
    vote votes
    "Octopi," because FUCK EVERYTHING.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.