What is the Plural of 'Platypus' Platypuses, Platypodes or Platypi?


What is the Plural of Platypus? Is it Platypuses, Platypodes or Platypi?

The name 'platypus' is modern Latin which is used by the scientific community for naming things. But it is derived by the concatenation of two Greek words platus 'flat' + pous 'foot'. If we were to stick with the proper Greek construct for the plural for words ending in –pus/poûs; the word would end in 'podes' – giving us 'platypodes'. If we were to use a Latin construct for this word we would end up with platypi. But this is not a Greek or Latin word. It is just a Latinised form of two Greek words. In modern English the plural of most nouns ending in ‘s’  have an ‘es’ appended to them  (bus–buses, walrus–walruses).

So today, the most correct form for the plural of platypus is platypuses. Platypodes is also acceptable but rarely used today. As for 'platypi'? Well, English is an evolving language and common usage sometimes dictates a word's acceptance into the language. Besides its so much fun calling them 'platypi'.

Related Article: Platypus (Duck-billed Platypus) - Oddball Monotreme of Australia


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