I’m a big fan of Cuteoverload.com, visiting their site every day for my fix of all things cute, cuddly and snorglable (and that’s totally a real word). As if I didn’t love them enough already, a couple of days ago they printed this picture:
Which, aside from being cute as all hell, introduced me to the phrase “tiny velvety platypi”, because that’s what they called it.
Tiny velvety platypi. The more I say it, the more I love it. It’s one of those phrases that gets in your head and stays there, and it’s well and truly stuck in mine. Tiny velvety platypi. Tiny… velvety… platypi.
“Look at the tiny velvety platypi! Aren’t they just the sweetest ickle things?”
Then I looked at the comments under the image and there were lots of people wondering if the plural of ‘platypus’ is, indeed, ‘platypi’. Some were sure that it was ‘platypode’ and others were convinced you could say ‘platypuses’. Intrigued, I Googled it and I came across this post on a science forum from a rather clever sort of fellow:
The ‘pus’ in Platypus (Flat Foot) and Octopus (Eight Foot) is Greek, so the plural is ‘pode’. The ‘pus’ in Hippopotamus (River Horse) is part of ‘potamus’ (horse) and is Latin, so uses ‘pi’ for the plural.
Platypode, octopode, and hippopotami.
So if you’re really, really anal about these things, you should listen to the clever fellow. However, ‘tiny velvety platypodes’ doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?
In other news from the cuteoverload.com discussions, baby platypi are apparently known as ‘puggles’ (which may or may not be true, as there’s some debate on the matter) and their little rolls of fat are called ‘collops’.
And if you fancy some more pedantic word fun, go here for a list of the names of groups of animals. A shiver of sharks? REALLY?