The Plural of Woman


woman shrugging

I’ve long found women confusing. And I don’t just mean women in general. I mean the word women.

Man is one of those words that takes an unusual plural. The a becomes an e. One man becomes two men. And woman, conveniently, follows the same pattern: one woman, two women. Fine.

What’s weird is how we pronounce them. Man/men — obvious. But what about woman/women?

We pronounce the singular form wuhmən.

But how do we pronounce the plural version? wihmən. Has it occurred to you that we leave the vowel o the same, but pronounce it differently (wuh to wih), then we change the a to an e, but pronounce it the same way in both words? Weird.

I told you women were messed up.


Leave a comment below. Unless you are an angry woman. 🙂

About the Author

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

  1. Robert Wallis
    Robert Wallis08-15-2012

    Hey Bri-un, yore mest up.

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