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I’m a fantasy writer, and have encountered an issue. In regard to pegasi, I am unsure whether or not the words from the question title apply to pegasi, or if there are pegasus versions of those words.

So do they apply, and if not, what should the word or words be?

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  • 1
    What are pegusi?
    – tchrist
    Jul 17 at 21:11
  • The plural of “pegasus.” But in hindsight, my spelling may be incorrect.
    – Bill
    Jul 17 at 21:13
  • Oh. I read it as if someone thought to pay goosey goosey gander from the nursery rhyme, but then lost the gander bit. :)
    – tchrist
    Jul 17 at 21:20
  • Cheval/chevalier and also caballo/caballero, from the same Late Latin root plus PIE -ter/tor agentive. Jul 17 at 21:23
  • 2
    Well, if we're using pegasus as a general descriptor rather than a proper name, it seems only fair to call the rider a bellerophon.
    – user888379
    Jul 17 at 21:23
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Pegasean

Yes, there is! That word is the adjective Pegasean. The OED gives it the following sense:

Of, relating to, or characteristic of Pegasus. Also: resembling Pegasus, esp. in his capacity for winged flight; (hence) poetically inspired or elevated.

It provides citations ranging between 1590 and 1988.

It notes that we most often now place the stress on the second syllable from the end, but that formerly we placed in on the third syllable from the end instead as attested by metrical evidence.

Not Pegasarian, at least not lately

People also tried to use Pegasarian, but this didn’t catch on and is now marked obsolete:

1607 E. Topsell Hist. Foure-footed Beastes 323
The Pegasarian coursers of France, by the like change of horsses, run from Lyons to Rome in fiue or sixe daies.

Use pegasid for seamoths

The noun and adjective pegasid relates to the Pegasidae family of fishes, also commonly called the seamoths.

One would speak for example of pegasid biology in this context.

Not pegasoid, at least not any longer

Towards the end of the Nineteenth Century, there were a couple of isolated uses intended to mean either the mythological sense or the zoölogical sense, but these didn’t catch on, and so it too is now marked obsolete.


An astronomical note

The classical Latin nominative plural of Pegasus was of course Pegasi.

As in English where plural dogs and singular possessive dog’s both sound the same to our ear, in Latin’s second declension something similar occurred.

That’s why astronomers use Pegasi as a postpositive adjective in the possessive sense meaning “of Pegasus” to talk about stars in that constellation. The OED gives this recent example of that sort of thing:

1996 New Scientist 27 Jan. 17/1
They detected a wobble in the motion of the star 51 Pegasi, caused by an orbiting planet.

However, Latin never used this word in the plural, because there was only one creature named Pegasus. It was no more a generic for a whole set of creatures than Medusa was.

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  • This is helpful, though only answers half the question. Of course, as a (self-identified) creative writer, that’s all I need.
    – Bill
    Jul 17 at 22:02
  • "There was only one creature named Pegasus" IIRC didn't he have some children with Zeus's other horses, though?
    – nick012000
    Jul 18 at 9:39

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