why isnt the plural of ottoman ottomen? ottomans sounds dumb when you say it. am i right here???:confused:

No. You’re wrong.

“Ottomans” is correct; look in any dictionary. The English language doesn’t change to suit your particular idea of what sounds like dumb.

And “mongooses” is also correct. Live with it.

I can’t asnwer your “why isn’t” question. But yes, it does SOUND dumb.

The word “Ottoman” is the adjectival form of Osman, the ruling house of the empire named after it. It does not contain the English word “man” and thus does not form its plural irregularly.

From Merrian-Webster Online:

Oh, and welcome to the SDMB!

Arabic is a language structured on three-consonant roots. Words are formed by many different vowel patterns applied to these consonantal skeletons, sometimes with prefixes or suffixes.

The Arabic name ‘Uthmân is built from a consonantal root ‘-th-m. The -ân part is a suffix. So the appearance of “man” at the end is totally accidental and has nothing whatever to do with the English word man.

How come you haven’t insisted that the plural of shaman ought to be *shamen? Or that the singular of Türkmen should be *Turkman?

i know that ottomen is incorrect, i want to know WHY. and for the record i’m referring to the piece of furniture, not the Ottoman empire.

jomo mojo, thank you. i just needed to know why, and you answered, much appreciation. ~f2f

The piece of furniture is named after the Empire–a seat or footstool in the Ottoman style, later nominalized to just “ottoman.” The word, and its derivation and inflection, are the same for either meaning.

The plural in English is ottomans because English regularly forms the plural by adding -s to the noun stem. The word man forms its plural irregularly as men but, since ottoman and man are linguistically unrelated, ottoman does not form its plural irregularly.

I like to put my feet up on my Ottoman when I’m watching the Toronto Maple Leaves.

I wonder if anyone can confirm or debunk the rumor widely circulating in Muslim countries that Europeans named the upholstered footstool “Ottoman” in order to disrespect the Turkish empire — because they put their feet on it. I’m skeptical but I have no evidence either way. What was the original point of calling the thing an “Ottoman”? Was it just because an upholstered footstool was considered the sort of Oriental luxury enjoyed by the Turke in his seraglio? Or was it a typical anti-Muslim conspiracy?

FTR, the Arabic plural of Ottoman would be ‘uthmânîyûn, and the Turkish plural is osmanlïlar.