fun fact: the reason that the plural of goose is geese but the plural of moose is not meese is because goose derives from an ancient germanic word undergoing strong declension, in the pattern of foot/feet and tooth/teeth, wherein oo is mutated to ee. however ‘moose’ is a native american word added to the english lexicon only ~400 years ago, and lacks the etymological reason to be pluralized in that way.
Oh baby. Keep talking dirty to me.
Oh, lilynoize! My fellow linguist, thank you.
It’s racist to explain the declension of “goose” with its etymology, as if that history—that route of development—is important and then, in the same breath, say that “moose” is “a Native American word.” That’s literally like saying that “goose” is ”a white word.” And it perpetuates the idea that Native histories, cultures, and contributions to mainstream society are less important.
There are almost 300 languages indigenous to North America, making up about 30 distinct language families. Not one of them is called “Native American”.
"Moose" is an Eastern Algonquian word, most likely from the Narragansett language, which means it comes from a genetic group within the Algic language family. And that’s actually interesting for two reasons:
1) Because it shows that, etymologically, the plural of “moose” should be “mosinee.”
2) Because it makes “moose” a word that has almost certainly survived the extinction of its origin language.
My thought process went, “So there isn’t a plural for moose at all? They just didn’t have one?”
And then, boom, actual info on “moose” as a word. And look, its history and background is as interesting as “goose.”