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I've been living in Ireland for almost a year now and I start noticing they use the word "mens" a lot. I can see it used in:

  1. Shops, to denote the area where you can find men's clothes
  2. In sport, when they talk about "mens team".

My guess is just that they are lazy about the use of quotes, so that mens should actually be men's. However, there may be some rule I'm not aware of. So, is "mens" only limited to Irish English? When I'm allowed to use it?

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Closely related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/59425/… Of course, as the answer there says, mens is not a proper word. –  Andrew Leach Apr 25 '13 at 13:01
    
Ah, that contains a very funny answer! –  Emiliano Apr 25 '13 at 13:16
    
Maybe see also obs. excl. Sc. and North dial. - mens(e)? –  Amphiteóth Dec 7 at 23:30

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Mens is sometimes used as an alternative for, you guessed it, men's. It looks invalid because it's a possessive which should have an apostrophe before the "s" but as it's caught on, it's just considered acceptable now. There's also the common noun menswear which is often used instead of men's wear.

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