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I've noticed a particular grammatical structure being used more and more often, where people pluralise the names of a small group of people in a list, to suggest that those people mentioned are representative of a wider group.

For example: "Who will be at the party?" "Your Toms, your Harrys, your Georges"

Here, there may only be one Tom, Harry or George and yet they are pluralised. In fact, George might not even be there at all, but he is representative of the wider group that will be. (It also often seems to be preceded by "Your", to indicate they are to be seen as examples, but maybe this is not always the case)

It seems to come up in football punditry quite often to. Here's a video where it seems to be indicated as a "cliche" in the sport when referring to teams. https://twitter.com/bryansgunn/status/1721091066789613799

e.g "Your Rochdales"

Does anyone know what this is called? I would love to look up some it's history, if that's been documented at all. Is it considered grammatically correct?

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  • There are several existing questions about this, for instance this one about Jess/Jesse; this on Jennifers; the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world. It generally seems to be called "pluralizing a name" at least in the questions. I'm not sure any gives the precise history but it's generally agreed to be grammatical.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 4 at 9:17
  • Also Eduardos, Popeyes...
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jan 4 at 9:20
  • Thanks Stuart. I think the example closest would definitely be that of "Mark Zukerbergs of the world". Some others are more about how one pluralises a name in the more traditional sense. Interesting that there seems to be a suggestion this is borrowed from other languages that include articles before names.. Seems a shame it doesn't have a name!
    – Alex L
    Commented Jan 4 at 9:33
  • The given phrase seems weird. I'd expect something like "your Toms, your Dicks, and your Harrys" because "Tom, Dick and Harry" is an idiom to refer to ordinary people in general.
    – Barmar
    Commented Jan 4 at 17:59

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