A critical question of language

There are a very popular brand of child’s construction blocks we’ve all played with. The boxes are branded “Lego.”

Now, you see two pieces from one of these sets of blocks on the ground. Do you say

“Look, there are two Legos on the ground.”


“Look, there is Lego on the ground/there are two peices of Lego on the ground.”

In all my life I had never, ever heard or read the term “Legos” until I got on the Web. One piece of Lego was a piece of Lego; collectively, it was a big pile of Lego. To say “Legos” would have been like saying “Deers” or “Mooses.”

So what the proper pluralization? Lego, or Legos?

A quick once over of the Lego website didn’t reveal the use of Legos, only Lego. However I did see the term Lego bricks.

I would guess that is how it works. You have a single Lego brick or several Lego bricks.

in my household, it was a matter of quantity. When my brother had left a whole bunch of miscellaneous Lego bricks etc. out, my mom would say, “Go pick up your Legos!” If we were talking about one piece, it would be, “There’s a Lego on the floor.” (don’t step on it – ouch!) If it were a small quantity, it would vary – “There’re a couple of Legos on the floor” or “There’re a couple of Lego pieces on the floor.” But we never said “pieces of Lego” and we only said bricks if we were talking about the two-by-four variety, and even then I don’t think we used “brick” very frequently.

My husband and I have played with Legos together a few times, and I think our vernacular was similar, since we managed to build whatever we were aiming for. :slight_smile:

IIRC, the corporation is very adamant about the “Lego bricks” thing. Back in my childhood, there used to be a note on each box instructing people that the contents were to be called “Lego bricks or toys” and not simply “Legos.”

This, in my opinion, is a very good reason to call them “Legos.”

Legos all the way. Pieces of lego? what the hell kind of nonsense is that?

Legos are shaped so differently that each piece constitutes an object; they’re not similar enough to constitute a substance.

You could describe a lego house, of course, or a lego computer case (which I’ve wanted for a long time – imagine a computer case built from legos and shaped like an Aztec pyramid, with walls that swiveled out to reveal the cards and motherboard). But it’s not sufficiently substantial that you could talk about “spilling Lego all over the floor.”

As for lego bricks, that seems redundant in some cases (when they look like bricks) and inaccurate in other cases (when they look like, for example, airplane wings). The only good way to use that term would be to distinguish the thick rectangular pieces from, for example, the lego boards, or the lego wings, or the lego hinges.

Pieces of lego. Snort.


I have this image of a pirate guy with a parrot on his shoulder, squaking “Pieces of lego, pieces of lego!” (instead of “pieces of eight!”).

Legos all the way here. I guess I can understand why that’s frowned on, doesn’t it mean “Plays well” in a Scandinavian language? “Plays wells” sounds stupid. But who cares, we can butcher any language we want! :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s legoxen, RickJay. Duh.


While the company may maintain that it’s “pieces of Lego,” they’re generally just Legos in common usage (in the US at least).

Unless you step on one in the middle of the night, in which case they’re “Goddamn f**king bastard Legos!!”

Or maybe the proper plural of Lego is Legolas? :smiley:

Definitely “legos”. I think my brother may have had thousands of them. DanielWithrow, thanks for the lego computer case idea – hmmm [inner child grins broadly]. I think I’m going to like seeing you around this board.


I say Legos or, occasionally “Lego thing(ie)s”, but I have that little voice in the back of my head that reminds me that, as a brand name, the word Lego should be used as an adjective only and thus cannot be pluralized, much like Pepsi or Rollerblade.

Then I whomp the hell out of the little voice, shove the Legos out of the way, probably into the corner with the Rollerblades and grab myself a couple of Pepsis.

The boxes never say “Lego”, they say “LEGO”.

I vote for “LEGO bricks” as the proper plural form.

voting for legos here, probably being scolded as a child. . or was that scolding my boyfriend the other day “quit digging through your legos (of the midstorm variety) I am trying to study!”

Wow- I think that computer case idea is so cool! Thoug I wouldn’t know how to go about doing it, its still neat! I hope one of you does build it - post pics if you ever do:)

And I say “Legos” as the plural

I only ever called them LEGO™ brand interlocking construction bricks.

To make perfectly, nay pedanticly, clear what some posters here have only alluded to, as the holder of a famous trademark, The Lego Group must do all it can to prevent the word Lego from becoming a generic term. If this happened, they could lose the right to exclusive use of the mark to identify their products, i.e., anyone could make plastic bricks and call them Lego (or even Legos!).

This is why all trademark holders insist that their marks be used as adjectives to modify a noun that is the generic term for the product, e.g., Lego bricks, not legos. Kleenex facial tissues, not kleenexes. It takes more than becoming a common term for a trademark to be lost, and major brands rarely go generic, but it does happen.

However, for those of us who don’t work for The Lego Group, or other trademark holders, this is of no concern. As the employee of a major network that probably doesn’t want to annoy actual or potential advertisers, Seth Myers may have to toe the line (if he ever talks about them on his show again), but the rest of us can call them LEGO, or legos, or legoxen, or late for dinner.

To add the British perspective: over here Lego is most commonly a collective noun; “let’s play with the Lego!” and “go and tidy up your Lego” are not referring to just one brick. The term “Legos” isn’t really used.

Yes. Like the ancient OP, I never heard the word ‘legos’ until I went on the Internet. Lego is a collective noun, like rice.

To add to the confusion: My |talian friend buys Legos to play Lego with his son. It’s always strange to hear him he will go play Lego.

If someone says “Legos”, I know they’re American. It hurts my ears.