Language question

Yes, I know the plural is geese, but then why isn’t the singular shoop?

25 thoughts on “Language question”

  1. Because when you stew celtic, germanic and “latin” grammar/spelling for a couple of centuries you end up with the unholy mess that is “english”? 😛

  2. Come to think of it.. I do remember “goose” being used as plural for the beasties. Dunno if it was Chaucer or Domesday/Anglosaxon Chronicles or somesuch.

    Could be that “geese” is actually a modernism..

  3. Goose become geese to stop confusion with mongoose. If there are two of them, they are bi-goose three, tri-goose etc., etc.

  4. It’s like Guinness. All foreigners should be told the plural of Guinness is Guinnai and that they should ask confidently at the bar for “two Guinnai please”.

  5. @Nautical Nick.

    Geese is the plural of goose only if they are male. If they are female its goosesesses. Like lionesses.

  6. It’s to do with the changing of singular to plural in old english.

    Same reason we have one Ox but many Oxen and not Ox’s.

  7. Not in English, no. Ox’s would be the horn that belongs to the ox. Oxs would be the plural even if it isn’t.

  8. @Andrew C. And, of course,there is the story of th man who walked up to the bar and asked for a Martinus.

    “Don’t you mean Martini, sir?”

    “No thanks, I only want one.”

  9. Tim, you mean Oxes. fox/foxes, box/boxes, complex/complexes, fix/fixes, flex/flexes, sex/sexes, climax/climaxes, flux/fluxes, wax/waxes, relax/relaxes.

  10. “ If you have head of cattle, parliament of crows, can you have a liver of goose?”

    It’s a parliament of owls – and a murder of crows.

  11. It is of relatively modern origin. In the 19th Cent vessels taking ovine stock to the New World were often boarded by Mexican pirates who would then demand of the captain
    “Hey Gringo, hand over your sheep, it ees beeger than ours.”

    Confusion often reigned and once the story reached the papers, the name stuck.

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