Moose Meese? Meeser Meeses? Mooser Moose?

Moose or meese?

Moose or meese?

>Now we have come to the end of The Canadian Moose and I thought we could talk a little bit about grammar. Don’t stop reading!

The #1 comment I’ve heard over this month of mooseness is “Why isn’t the plural of moose meese?” So after showing much restraint, I have patiently waited until the last day to indulge my little grammar fetish and answer le question.

Unfortunately, it’s not very interesting. But I’ll do my best. Don’t stop reading!

The roots of the word “moose” (as we learned at the beginning of the month) are from a native word meaning “twig eater.” As well, earlier this month, we learned moose in Europe are called “elk.” Why this is of any consequences, is apparently because the original language moose comes from doesn’t do plurals.

But that’s stupid. No amount of Googling could find any research behind this answer and other people in Internet-land have just copied and pasted this same, probably incorrect, answer instead of doing the work themselves.

So I went away from the Internet (bye bye) and towards my new favourite podcaster: Grammar Girl.

Of course she had something to say. Actually she has a lot to say and it gets a bit convoluted. In order to cover what she does, I suppose I have to go over all the other weird animal plurals out there (ox-oxen, goose-geese, sheep-sheep, mouse-mice) and find explanation/roots for them but I wouldn’t want to label myself some sort of grammar nerd…

So instead let’s just say the word “moose” in English falls into the category of a collective noun, so it is the same singular and plural. The reason, if you care, is because we’ve brought some of the Ye Olde English rules with us from the motherland and they don’t make a ton of sense, but it’s something we just go with.

But mostly we say moose when we mean one or many because it’s comfortable. It wouldn’t feel right to say “meese” and we’d probably get all twitchy and start resenting moose and stuff.

In the end, if you can’t accept the moose-moose phenomenon, you can just call them by their group name—herd.

You know, like that time I saw a herd of moose and it was awesome. Or, did I see a moose? I sure did! A whole herd!

Anyway, it doesn’t really matter since moose don’t like to hang out with each other much so you probably won’t run into this problem unless you live in Smithers.

Which is a moose story I never got to and couldn’t find photos from so you’ll just have to email me about it because…

This now ends the moose portion of the blog. Thank you for your patience.

  • Oh man, I LOVE Grammar Girl.

  • Me too! Except I wish someone would edit the spit and clicks out of her audio tracks. They gross me out!