Q: Plural of mongoose?
KATIE: Generally mongooses, rarely mongeese. We use “mongeese” in the flashback because it has fewer syllables. And it’s a hilarious word.
KEZIA (student): So at the end do you want “cotesville fighting mongoose” or “mongeese?”
KATIE: I think maybe just the one. Mongeese doesn’t have the right solemnity, mongooses has too many syllables. Rob, opinions?
ROB: I think mongoose…
WILL (student): Mongoose is from the Marathi word mang?s, and goose is of Germanic origins, and forms its plural via an umlaut. Since mongoose is a borrowed word, the standard English plural should be applied – ergo ‘mongooses’.
KATIE: For this line though, it’s singular if necessary I think. My second choice would be ‘mongeese’. Third choice, ‘mongooses’.
We had this exact sort of issue working for the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Apparently they’re octopuses, not octopi. Which is not great if you need to rhyme that.