Advanced search

Words that are pluralised in the middle poser

(18 Posts)
AllYourBassClefsBelongToUs Mon 24-Feb-14 22:31:53

I saw the word 'passersby' today which struck me as unusual. I can't think of another word like this - are there any?

Velma67 Mon 24-Feb-14 22:35:13

There are a few phrases, usually of foreign, maybe french, origin. Coups d'etat and courts martial are the two I can think of off the top of my head.

Hangers-on would also seem to fit the bill but I'm pretty sure it isn't a "proper" word.

JodieGarberJacob Mon 24-Feb-14 22:36:25

Words like mothers-in-law maybe?

lougle Mon 24-Feb-14 22:48:24

this list has about 860 compound words and none of them are pluralised in the middle. I can't fine another one...

sunbathe Tue 25-Feb-14 02:04:51



alexpolistigers Tue 25-Feb-14 06:51:06




AuntieStella Tue 25-Feb-14 07:03:04

The (now archaic, even obsolete) listener-in follows this pattern. Does it count as it's hyphenated?

alexpolistigers Tue 25-Feb-14 07:06:49

yes! Listeners-in.

SpiderStacy Tue 25-Feb-14 07:11:56


Lemonsole Tue 25-Feb-14 16:32:15

Fathers in law
Mothers in law (god forbid)
Estates general
Courts of Law

indieakka Tue 25-Feb-14 20:07:28

Grands-prix (I think!)

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 28-Feb-14 14:09:54

We have several "titles general" in the US, so besides attorneys general, we have surgeons general and solicitors general.

SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 28-Feb-14 14:18:42

aides de camp

NomDeClavier Mon 03-Mar-14 12:26:16

Anything which contains with a preposition has to be pluralized in the middle. It's the head noun which is pluralized.

BlueSprite Mon 03-Mar-14 12:40:29

Yes, what Nom said. For example, "lookers-on".

BlueSprite Mon 03-Mar-14 12:42:07

Although people mostly say onlookers, now!

DuPainDuVinDuFromage Tue 11-Mar-14 15:12:25

trades union

PigletJohn Tue 11-Mar-14 15:26:31

pains au chocolat

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now