Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sun Feb 10 21:00:35 UTC 2008

On Feb 10, 2008 3:03 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> At 10:26 AM -0800 2/10/08, Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
> >from yesterday's "wait wait ... don't tell me" on NPR, two uses of
> >"buttockses" in reference to israeli soldiers who entertained
> >themselves by mooning palestinians.  each soldier exposed his
> >buttocks; as a group, they exposed their buttockses (parallel to
> >"asses", "backsides", "butts", etc.).  so, a double plural, where the
> >standard form would just be plural, regardless of how many people are
> >involved.
> The reanalysis of "buttocks" as a singular is also supported by the
> spelling "buttox" (57,000 raw hits) and the occasional plural
> "buttoxes" (635, or twice as many as "buttockses").  Maybe someone is
> now imagining that "buttox" is an ablaut variant of "botox"...

Cf. "bollox"/"bollix"...

And while we're on double plurals for body parts, what about
"breasteses" (and variants thereof)?

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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