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How to write “calf's liver” on menu

I'm trying to find out which of the terms calf's-foot jelly and calves'-foot jelly is more appropriate for referring to this aspic-like comestible in conversation, but haven't found any definitive answer; ngrams shows similar frequency of use for both terms. Any advice? ngram for calf's foot jelly,calves' foot jelly,calves' feet jelly

Edit: I added suggested term calves'-feet jelly to the ngrams search. For brief intervals ca. 1810, 1840, and 1900, it was dominant, but usually one of the other two terms has prevailed in frequency.

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@FumbleFingers - Good find; I overlooked that question –  jwpat7 Dec 18 '11 at 19:01
    
It was lucky OP here asked about "calf". I knew it had come up before, but for some reason I remembered it as being about pig's trotters. We'll be ready now when someone asks about Larks' Tongues In Aspic. Which I still remember as tongue, not tongues. –  FumbleFingers Dec 18 '11 at 19:17
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marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, kiamlaluno, Mitch, Matt Эллен, Mahnax Aug 26 '12 at 4:07

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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Unless specifically made from conjoined twin calves sharing the same foot, it would be calf's-foot jelly, since the possessive for multiple calves would otherwise imply multiple feet.

Calves'-feet jelly would be a more logical alternative, but I still lean toward calf's-foot. Jams and jellies tend to be named in the singular, not in the plural. Peach preserves, not peaches preserves. Strawberry jam, not strawberries jam. Orange marmalade, grape jelly, etc.

So by extension, calf's-foot jelly.

Multiple dictionaries concur.

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