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Which plural do you use for a word that should have a regular plural but ends with a word that has its own irregular one? The example that made me ask was "leatherman" (the multitool) but there are plenty of others.

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i.stack.imgur.com/EFWOo.png –  Kosmonaut May 18 '11 at 3:10
    
Ford Focus (Focuses? Foci? Focii?) and Toyota Prius (Priuses? Prii?). –  user54368 Oct 17 '13 at 22:04

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Short answer: it's up to the company, but nobody cares what the company says.

The official plural of Walkman according to Sony is Walkman Personal Stereos, not *Walkmans or *Walkmen. People widely use walkmans nonetheless.

Since Leatherman refers to a brand name and not a specific product, there probably is no official plural—even though Leatherman is used quite often colloquially to refer to a Leatherman-brand multitool. But people say Leathermans nonetheless. Seeing a pattern?

One more amusing example: Bluetooth is used colloquially on its own to refer to a Bluetooth phone headset; a cursory Googling shows Bluetooths dominated by Bluetooth-related results, while Blueteeth gives mixed results, including a number of shoddily edited product sites, one of which claimed that the “pecifications” of a phone include “blueteeth”.

So that's something.

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Bluetooth is also named after a person of course –  mgb May 18 '11 at 3:28
    
@Martin: Man, I learn something new every day because of StackExchange. –  Jon Purdy May 18 '11 at 3:43

In this case the tool is named after a Mr Leatherman - so it's a 'leatherman tool' (sing) or 'leatherman tools' (plural).

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No. The question was what is the plural of "Leatherman". "Leatherman tools" is not the plural of "Leatherman", it is the plural of "Leatherman tool", which is a different noun phrase. Refusing to answer a question about usage by denying its premises is pointless: as with Walkmans, people are going to say it whether somebody thinks they shouldn't or not. –  Colin Fine May 18 '11 at 17:10
    
So the question is what do you call Mr Leatherman and his family? The leathermans presumably –  mgb May 18 '11 at 18:15
    
Yes. Or humorously "the Leathermen". –  Colin Fine May 19 '11 at 16:23
    
@ColinFine John Gordon uses leathermen in The Giant Under the Snow but they were creepy tree-like beings (see pic in link), not multitools! –  Mynamite Apr 5 at 11:05

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