Why do we pluralize house as houses and mouse as mice?

139 views

My nephew is at that age where we are correcting his speech for situations like above. I know the English language is a wonky language, but never really thought about why. For fun, Brian Regan has a whole bit about the subject like ox, oxen, box, boxen.

In: 0

6 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Blame it on the old English people…

louse/lice — lus/lys

mouse/mice — mus/mys

house/houses — hus/husian

Note how the old english has the “-ys” ending for “-ice” in modern English. This is called the i-mutation. The ‘u’ in the singular (‘ou’ in modern) is a pronounced as ‘oo’ (same as in Latin).

Now notice that the plural of house has an “-ian” ending in old English. This is a different plural ending similar to man/men and ox/oxen. In fact, the plural of house used to be housen (still is in German–hausen). It turns out that house is a neuter noun and mouse and louse are feminine nouns which is why they’re pluralized differently.

PS- Mouses and louses are acceptable pluralizations in modern English.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Blame it on the old English people…

louse/lice — lus/lys

mouse/mice — mus/mys

house/houses — hus/husian

Note how the old english has the “-ys” ending for “-ice” in modern English. This is called the i-mutation. The ‘u’ in the singular (‘ou’ in modern) is a pronounced as ‘oo’ (same as in Latin).

Now notice that the plural of house has an “-ian” ending in old English. This is a different plural ending similar to man/men and ox/oxen. In fact, the plural of house used to be housen (still is in German–hausen). It turns out that house is a neuter noun and mouse and louse are feminine nouns which is why they’re pluralized differently.

PS- Mouses and louses are acceptable pluralizations in modern English.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Blame it on the old English people…

louse/lice — lus/lys

mouse/mice — mus/mys

house/houses — hus/husian

Note how the old english has the “-ys” ending for “-ice” in modern English. This is called the i-mutation. The ‘u’ in the singular (‘ou’ in modern) is a pronounced as ‘oo’ (same as in Latin).

Now notice that the plural of house has an “-ian” ending in old English. This is a different plural ending similar to man/men and ox/oxen. In fact, the plural of house used to be housen (still is in German–hausen). It turns out that house is a neuter noun and mouse and louse are feminine nouns which is why they’re pluralized differently.

PS- Mouses and louses are acceptable pluralizations in modern English.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Old English changed the inner vowels of a lot of words to change their tense or meanings. Sometimes this was because the ending made it harder to say in some ways or because noises blended together.

Here’s a good longer article on this
https://dannybate.com/2022/03/17/of-mouses-and-mans-the-origins-of-englishs-vowel-swapping-nouns-and-verbs/

Anonymous 0 Comments

Old English changed the inner vowels of a lot of words to change their tense or meanings. Sometimes this was because the ending made it harder to say in some ways or because noises blended together.

Here’s a good longer article on this
https://dannybate.com/2022/03/17/of-mouses-and-mans-the-origins-of-englishs-vowel-swapping-nouns-and-verbs/

Anonymous 0 Comments

Old English changed the inner vowels of a lot of words to change their tense or meanings. Sometimes this was because the ending made it harder to say in some ways or because noises blended together.

Here’s a good longer article on this
https://dannybate.com/2022/03/17/of-mouses-and-mans-the-origins-of-englishs-vowel-swapping-nouns-and-verbs/