Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Sep 24 15:26:47 UTC 2008

A correspondent writes:

> The other night I was watching an old episode of Project Runway, and one of
> the contestants said, "It wasteses time."  It sounded like she took "wastes"
> and conjugated it again, for "wasteses."
> Although it caught my attention, it also sounded familiar.  Is this a
> (somewhat) common thing for people to do in speech?  In my head it sounds
> girly, but that could be like the thing where people think only sorority
> girls using rising intonation or whatever.

I had assumed the pronunciation here was [weIst at s@z], along the lines
of the jocular double-plural "breasteses", but said correspondent
heard it as [weIsts at z]. Has anyone come across this type of doubled
inflection (outside of Gollum-speak)?

Thread from last February about the double plurals "buttockses",
"breasteses", "pantses", and Gollum's "pocketses":

I can't recall hearing the /-s/ inflection being doubled on a verb,
but /-(@)d/ often gets doubled or tripled for fun, as in, "I'm
screwededed" [skrud at d@d].

--Ben Zimmer

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list