Moosen, Meese, or Mooses? What is the Plural of Moose?

The English language can get pretty wild at times.

For one thing, English is a bit of a mishmash of a bunch of other languages and pulls different words and different phrases from all corners of the globe.

It has certain “rules” of grammar to be sure – but every now and again it breaks those rules completely (which must make things a real nightmare for folks learning English as a second language).

Take the word “moose”, for example.

As a singular description – “I saw a moose in the woods today” there’s no real hurdle to clear. It seems pretty simple and straightforward. When things go to the plural form, though, everything gets a little funky.

What is the Plural of Moose?

You see, at first blush the plural of the word “moose” could be a couple of different things based off of other English language words that share a similar structure.

But in reality, though, the plural form of “moose” is – surprise, surprise – just “moose”.

If you see a single moose in the woods you’d say you “saw a moose”.

If you saw a family of them in the woods, though, you’d still say that you saw “a bunch of moose”.

Sort of wild, right?

The Plural of Goose is Geese – Why Isn’t the Plural of Moose Meese?

A big part of why this is so confusing is because you have a similar sounding word – goose – (we’re really only swapping out a single letter here, right) that has a completely different plural form.

While you’d say that you saw a single goose down by the pond, if you saw a family of them you’d say that you saw a flock of geese.

Saying you saw a family of meese, though, would leave people scratching their heads. There’s no such word!

The reason for this is because the word moose itself is referred to as a “loan word” by the Oxford dictionary.

A loan word basically means that the English language sort of stole the word – completely and totally unaltered – from another language.

In this specific situation, the word moose was borrowed from a number of Native American languages in the 1600s that English-speaking colonists (later the earliest Americans) stuffed into English without any change whatsoever.

Interestingly enough, the plural form of the word “deer” follows these same rules.

You’d say that you saw a single most and a single deer out in the field just the same as you’d say that you saw a family of moose and a family of deer mingling together in the fall!