The plural of gruffalo/Is lamppost two words?


Sep 21, 2011
North Scotland
This paragraph contains two headaches lol:

Until today Ian Erasmus Black would never have associated a crusty bloomer and two cream cakes with soul crushing fear. At nine-thirty am he had queued politely in the baker’s, trying to avoid discussing Mrs Arbuthnot’s daughter’s hysterectomy, when he first felt it. The origin of the feeling he had yet to determine but since that moment he had checked behind every tree, lamp post and post box for vampires, hobbits, gruffalos and Nessie.

1) Is it gruffalos or gruffaloes?
2) My dictionaries and spell checks are not in agreement. Is it lamp post or lamppost?
The OED has lamp post as two words.

Presuming gruffalo follows the same rules as buffalo, the plural is either gruffalo (the same) or gruffaloes. Isn't gruffalo intellectual property, or is this fair use, as in referencing Batman?
I'm hoping it would be fair use. He's reading the book to his great-grandson so I'd like to keep it. Figured I'd let and agent/publisher make the call if it ever got that far lol.

I know the OED has it separate. Other dictionaries had lamppost as one word as does my spell check. To complicate matters in my copy of Narnia it is lamp-post.

So gruffaloes would work?
I guess gruffaloes would work. Don't ask me, I just use words. I don't understand how they work. ;)

Lamp posts: keep to one spelling and go from there, I suppose. If it needs to be changed later, at least you've stayed consistent.

And I've always spelled it lamp-post, because of that awkward double p in the middle if you don't put in the hyphen.
I know the plural of buffalo as "buffalo", and my computer's dictionary says it can be any of the three ways (buffalo, buffalos, buffaloes), so I would say you could do whatever you like with multiple gruffalo. :)

I would personally use lamp post, I believe -- I'm not sure I've ever done so, but that seems like what I would do, if I did. But again, according to popular opinion here, it appears you could go any of three ways.

So the key would be consistency. Pick a direction and boldly go.
Is there no mention of the plural of gruffalo in any of the stories? If you are to use their character in the book, then use the 'official' plural (if there is one).

If there isn't then I would personally go with gruffalos. I wouldn't use gruffalo as the plural, as that could just be confusing, and gruffali just doesn't sound right. So for me it's gruffalos or gruffaloes

I would never spell lamppost that way as it doesn;t look right because of the double 'p'. Lamp post I believe is the correct use, but I couldn't imagine anyone being too upset seeing lamp-post. As has been mentioned, you absolutely have to make sure that you are consistent in the way you print it.
I'm going to hedge my bets and hyphenate lamp-post. It works for my edition of Narnia lol.

No there appears to be no precedent for multiple use of Gruffalo - it's Gruffalo and Gruffalo's Child - even on the website. It's the one I want to keep if I can.

Might go with Gruffaloes.
Why don't you just do:

The origin of the feeling he had yet to determine but since that moment he had checked behind every tree, lamp post and post box for vampires, hobbits, Nessie and the Gruffalo.

I know going by what 'looks right' isn't always the correct approach but:

gruffaloes and lamp post

looks right, to me.
Hobbits are mythical/not real as much as scary. Maybe I should go with Dracula, The Hobbit, Gruffalo and The Family Ness.

I think I've covered most generations of the family I am writing lol
would gruffali come in a herd.. or a troupe or a wave..
a dark wave of gruffali smote the horizon... a pride of gruffali?
followed by a stream of nessie do wells? dragged down by dragons pilfering his pocket pence... hampered by the horribly hobbling hobbits...
If one googles** for "gruffaloes" or "gruffalos" on the web, only the former appears as requested in top spots.

(A search for the latter returns lots of "grufallo" and "gruffalo's", but not "gruffalos", at least not on the first page.)

** - I tried with Google; other search engines are available.
You've already got one: I've seen Crocodile Dundee, and there was a real buffalo - not a bison misidentified as a buffalo as they have in the US - shown living in Australia.

* Wonders: If Buffalo Bill had been, correctly, named Bison Bill, would he have cleaned up...? *

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