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View Full Version : What's the plural of metropolis?



mirandashell
05-31-2011, 01:02 AM
I just heard a TV announcer say 'metropolises'. Is that right? It sounds weird.

Mr Flibble
05-31-2011, 01:10 AM
Sounds funny (I'd have thought metropoli) but my trusty dictionary says :
pl -lises

mscelina
05-31-2011, 01:12 AM
Cities.

*shrug*

Reading metropolises *sounds* odd to me, so I'd just go for simplicity and use *cities.*

mirandashell
05-31-2011, 01:15 AM
Sounds funny (I'd have thought metropoli) but my trusty dictionary says :


Hmm... so she was right. It just sounded strange. Maybe because I can't remember hearing it before.

I was going for metropoli as well but then that's not right either as the singular would have to be 'metropolus'.

C.J.Lindsay
05-31-2011, 01:18 AM
'Metropoleis' is apparently a rare form of the plural. I like 'metropolae', myself, but I just made it up, so I doubt it will become common usage . . . :)

mscelina
05-31-2011, 01:20 AM
Hmm... so she was right. It just sounded strange. Maybe because I can't remember hearing it before.

I was going for metropoli as well but then that's not right either as the singular would have to be 'metropolus'.

Exactly. The -is is a Greek ending; the -us is Latin in origin.


'Metropoleis' is apparently a rare form of the plural. I like 'metropolae', myself, but I just made it up, so I doubt it will become common usage . . . :)

'Metropoleis' would be technically the correct usage going from ancient Greek, but hardly palatable to modern readers except maybe Medievalist and myself. 'Metropolae' could only be the correct form if the roots were Latin and written in feminine form as "metropola."

But as it is, I still stick by 'cities' being the correct plural. :D

mirandashell
05-31-2011, 01:28 AM
Ah. I would have accepted 'metropoleis' more readily as that sounds right to my ear. Being the Greek ending.

'Metropolises' just sounds wrong.

Caitlin Black
05-31-2011, 02:07 AM
I thought it was Metropolises, and it turns out I was right. Woohoo!

I have no problem with that word. It sounds fine to me. One option not listed which I considered briefly was Metropoles (last syllable -leez).

I'm pretty sure I recall some rule saying plurals of things ending in -is should become -es. But I can't for the life of me think of an example...

*shrug*

Metropolises sounds right to me, anyway. :)

Captain Scarf
05-31-2011, 02:39 AM
I like 'metropolae', myself, but I just made it up, so I doubt it will become common usage . . . :)

I like metropolae, although that may be because it ends in ae. I like words that end in ae. Metropolae should definitely become common usage.

dpaterso
05-31-2011, 03:54 AM
I just heard a TV announcer say 'metropolises'. Is that right? It sounds weird.
Depends, was he talking about cities or London policemen?

-Derek

bettielee
05-31-2011, 05:46 AM
pffft....

metropolopolis...

don't you people know anything?!

I'm just glad I was here to plug this information gap with mah foolishness.

Xelebes
05-31-2011, 05:58 AM
CMAs, MSAs, Metros. :)

Metropolises is the plural. Metropoleis is not used by native English speakers on urban forums.

Dangard
05-31-2011, 01:25 PM
I was seriously thinking it would be metropolii :)

Just pondering the word made me wonder-why isn't there a death metal band called Metropolicide yet? Doesn't that name sound pretty brutal?

C.J.Lindsay
05-31-2011, 09:01 PM
Depends, was he talking about cities or London policemen?

-Derek

:D I like.

I'm going to use metropoleis (rather than metropolae, regretfully) - metropolises doesn't work for me, it sounds ugly and akward.

mirandashell
05-31-2011, 10:31 PM
London policemen are metropolice.

dpaterso
05-31-2011, 11:01 PM
Isn't that a song? Magical Mister Metropolice?

-Derek

Caitlin Black
06-02-2011, 05:14 AM
I thought of an example for my -is pluralising to -es!

Nemesis -> nemeses.

That's right, isn't it?

mirandashell
06-02-2011, 10:17 PM
Ermmmm .... no. There is no plural to Nemesis. There is only one Greek goddess of vengeful justice. You can only have one arch-enemy.

Xelebes
06-02-2011, 11:53 PM
Ermmmm .... no. There is no plural to Nemesis. There is only one Greek goddess of vengeful justice. You can only have one arch-enemy.

There is arch-nemesis, which may only be singular but the nemesis might be a group and therefore the members might be referred to as nemeses.

mirandashell
06-02-2011, 11:57 PM
Eermmm.... no.

mirandashell
06-03-2011, 12:01 AM
Actually I have to fess up. I just looked in the OED and nemeses is the plural.

Ahem.

But don't use it. Sounds daft.

Xelebes
06-03-2011, 03:58 AM
But don't use it. Sounds daft.

Proper plural, no. Common plural, I'll be damned if I can't use it.