My Autocorrect is telling me to change it to "biceps curl". Also, the Wikipedia entry is Biceps curl.

But Googling, the phrase "bicep curl" seems pretty common. Ngram does suggest though that "biceps curl" is thrice as common in books.

Is "bicep curl" wrong and if so, why?

  • 4
    Don't rely on the auto-correct function for semantic correctness.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 2:33
  • 4
    @Lawrence: In this case, though, I would agree with it, because "bicep" is just a back-formation from the originally singular noun "biceps" (from Latin biceps)
    – herisson
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 2:38
  • 5
    Both are syntactically correct and are valid semantically. It's really a question of which is more idiomatic.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 2:38

1 Answer 1


It is "wrong" in the sense that "biceps" is not a plural word to begin with. The word was directly borrowed from Latin where singular nouns can end in 's'.

The ceps in biceps, triceps, and quadriceps comes from the Latin word for “head”; the literal meaning of biceps is “two-headed,” referring to a muscle that has two attachments to the bone (this definition of head is “the end of a muscle nearest its origin”).

However, the usage of "bicep" is common enough that in common writing almost all readers would understand what you mean.

In fact, bicep is used frequently enough that it is entered in the dictionary, where it is defined as a synonym of biceps. Its first recorded use is 1939.

("Usage Notes: Is the Word 'Biceps' Plural or Singular?", Merriam-Webster)

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