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NO BS: The Plural of Beef is ‘Beeves’

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So you know how some animal names like “deer,” “sheep,” and “moose” are the same in the singular as they are in the plural? Well, it turns out “beef” isn’t one of them. Nope, the plural of “beef” is “beeves.” Yeah, with a “v.” 

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It sounds like complete bullcrap, but if you look closely enough at the word’s entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, you’ll find the first plural form listed is in fact “beeves.” Same goes for Dictionary.com and Merriam Webster. According to Google Books, “beeves” saw the height of its popularity back in the early 1800s, before trailing off by the 20th century. It has, however, recently seen a small resurgence since about 1995 — presumably because that was the year AOL first made useless trivia like this easily available to the masses via the world wide web. Or, you know, the incorrect form was starting to be some people’s pet beeves. (Thanks Chris.)

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Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re just going to go sit and think long and hard about everything we ever believed to be true about the world. Because seriously, WHAT. THE. F*CK.

PicThx Food Cyclist

By Dominique Zamora

Dominique would be a foodie if she had money to pay for food. For now, she gets by just looking at food photography, which results in at least one more starving journalism student every time Instagram breaks down.

4 replies on “NO BS: The Plural of Beef is ‘Beeves’”

Words like Beef, Pork, and Poultry are all middle English words derived from old french. It is in our world today used more for the meats of the animals rather than the animal itself. However, the words cow, pig, and chicken are developed from old English words. In the middle ages French nobles used the term to refer to meat they were served, and the people who actually dealt with the animals (the peasants) called the animals cows, pigs, and chickens.

As for sheep and deer, also unlike beef they are words from Old English, not derived at all from French.

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