Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the EnglishProofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More


Plural form of anonymous

My friends and I were debating one day, and none of us could come up with a good answer:

What is the plural form of anonymous? Is there a plural form of anonymous?

Any help would be well appreciated.

  • November 16, 2005
  • Posted by jason
  • Filed in Grammar

Submit Your Comment

or fill in the name and email fields below:


Sort by  OldestLatestRating

Anonymous is an adjective and cannot be pluralised in English.

Jon2 November 17, 2005 @ 1:08AM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

However, "posted by Anonymous" implies that it can also be a noun.

Then again, no people other than the anonyous would agree with this.

I propose "anonymi" as a good plural.

hippopatomus => hippopatami


anonymous4 November 18, 2005 @ 7:35AM

10 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

Jon is absolutely coorect - no need to discuss it further.

Weezy November 18, 2005 @ 8:25PM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Jon is right: 'Anonymous' is an adjective, not a noun. If in some exceptional circumstances it is used as a noun, there is no problem with it following the rules used with every other unusual or proper noun, ie adding -es to make 'Anonymouses'.

Dave_Rattigan November 19, 2005 @ 2:07PM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

What a bad question!

Under what circumstance would you require the use of a plural for anonymous?

Looking at a list of anonymous entries, you may incorrectly state "Look at all the anonymouses on this site".

Anyway, I agree, dumb question.

alphaomega November 23, 2005 @ 8:45PM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

While I agree that anonymous is an adjective, don't just dismiss the plural issue as a dumb question. I think it's quite an interesting one. Why, isn't the very example of "posted by anonymous" worthy of examination? One sees it all the time, but it really implies "posted by an anonymous author". Isn't it a strange construct? I might say, "I was passed by a blue car" but I would never say "I was passed by blue" even if the context was clear.
As for "Look at all the anonymouses on this site" being incorrect, I have to disagree. I think Dave hit the nail on the head. Gee, at the very least, every word is a noun when you are treating it as a word and not its actual meaning.

porsche November 24, 2005 @ 4:09PM

15 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse


Dave3 December 7, 2005 @ 1:16AM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

perhaps it should be 'anonymice'...

As for the example "posted by anonymous", the implication is that the word 'anonymous' is a substitute for a name, and not functioning as a noun. It's almost like a box saying [insert name here]. Nevertheless, I agree it's not as dumb a question as it may sound. A sentence such as "look at all the anonymouses" sounds clunky but that doesn't make it invalid, so I have to agree.

But I still prefer 'anonymice'.

petescully December 7, 2005 @ 4:18AM

5 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

At last someone that speaks English, Jon is correct.
The plural of Anonymous is Anonymous.
The same applies to sheep;
One Sheep
Two Sheep..

Pikey December 24, 2005 @ 12:26PM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

What is the plural form of idiotic?

Made_Up_Name January 27, 2006 @ 11:03AM

3 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

How about the plural of the Greek origin?

Anonymos October 26, 2006 @ 9:13PM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

anonymous is an adjective. English adjectives dont get modified for number.

umm.. June 3, 2007 @ 11:16PM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

I have to disagree again. At least informally, adjectives are used as nouns all the time, and pluralized accordingly:

"What kind of M & M's do you want?"

"Gee, give me three greens, two reds, and five yellows."

porsche June 4, 2007 @ 10:04AM

18 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

But then what is a part of speech anyway. If I use an adjective as a noun, doesn't that make it a noun? I.e., not an adjective? Aren't greens, reds, and yellows nouns? Can they be both at the same time? Ok, I see your point. This doesn't matter because we are taking an utterance "anonymous" which normally behaves as an adjective, and treating it like a noun (making a noun from it). It's not an adjective being used as a noun (that doesn't make sense), it is simply, a noun. Ok, so then what's the problem? Just apply the usual English plural to it: anonymouses.

AO June 4, 2007 @ 4:55PM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

putang inang yan mukang tarantado yung gumawa ni2

anonymous4 July 5, 2007 @ 5:48AM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Lots of adjectives are often used as nouns. Regarding the issue at hand: the same adjective-as-noun can (1) sometimes add an "s" in the plural and (2) sometimes not. Take "great":
(1) "That song is one of the all-time greats"
(2) "The truly great don't need to advertise."
Apologies for the not-great examples.

Now try sticking "anonymous" into the relevant positions:
(1) That post is just one of the many anonymouses we receive.
(2) The truly anonymous find advertising is no help.

For me, they both work. Even for the conservative (hidebound/uptight...), (2) is unexceptionable.

If there is a query about "anonymouses" it's surely in part because of the sound, which resembles that in "rhinoceroses", a correct plural that can nevertheless sound awkward.

If anyone can point out some generalisations about what adjectives can and what can't be used with plurals (assuming any such distinction is tenable), that would be an interesting post.

anonymous4 July 6, 2007 @ 5:00AM

4 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

OP, you are from a *chan board, are you not? My guess is 4chan's /b/. Formulating copypasta?

anonymous4 October 27, 2007 @ 9:22PM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse


voyd March 13, 2008 @ 4:51AM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Can I be excused for being a 61 yr old whose English grammar has deteriorated from its peak when I graduated from high school? I just asked this question because I am writing a letter discussing "There Will Be Blood". I described the unknown workers, the grunts like me, as The Anonymous (e.g. The Anawim or The Proletariat.) I thought Anonymi would be cute. English is a bastard language anyway. That was a principle I did memorize from grade school

Lil April 1, 2008 @ 10:25AM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

So whats the plural of 'greatest'?

pb1 August 14, 2008 @ 8:21PM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse


ic August 18, 2008 @ 7:25PM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Wow... How many people have used the name 'Anonymous' now?

There are multiple authors all under the name anonymous, therefore there is more than one anonymous. therefore there are many anonimi.

anonymous4 February 25, 2009 @ 11:24AM

2 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

if Anonymous is being used as a name, then pluralise it like all other names:
There are a lot of Bernards commenting on this post.
There are a lot of Anonymouses commenting on this post.

it sounds weird because it ends with an s.
"There are a lot of Jameses commenting on this post" sounds weird too.

I think that where anonymous is not often found as a pluralised noun, nothing will sound quite right. Better to just keep it as an adjective and say "There are a lot of anonymous people" or alternatively say "There are a lot of people using the name "Anonymous""

now I need to look up whether I should be using 2 quotation marks in a row there.... hmmm

Steph1 March 1, 2009 @ 8:37AM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

isn't the correct noun, plural. anonymities?

e1 March 23, 2009 @ 5:37AM

2 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

se here:

"some fine poetry attributed to anonymities"

e1 March 23, 2009 @ 5:40AM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Generally I'd go with "anonymous people", "anonymous posters", "anonymous persons", and so on. If I was really intent on using a single word, probably specifically for the purpose of being silly or trying to emphasize informality, I'd go with "anonymouses".

On a side note, for M&Ms, I might actually say something like, "give me four green and five red," as a short form of, "give me four green ones, and five red ones." Then again, I often impose stricter grammar rules on myself than many people do, particularly on the internet. (And yes, I may have misused quotation marks here; I need to brush up on that)

Steven5 August 5, 2009 @ 3:39PM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

When citing anonymous authors, e.g. the Big Book of Alcohlics Anonymous, what is the plural?

Evan1 June 23, 2010 @ 1:45PM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

I apologize, for I do not have an answer to this question, however, I thought I should say that there is no such thing as a stupid question, for all of those who said that this question was stupid.

anonymous4 January 30, 2011 @ 6:51AM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

The plural is anomymous (eg Alcoholics Anonymous).The plural of the word in the original greek would be something like anonym-οι or anonym-oi in the latin alphabet.The dipthong oi in greek is pronouced usually like "oi" in the "oil however in some case(this being one of them) is pronounced like "e"in "email".What I dont get is how the word ended up to be anonymous rather than anonymus since words like colossus have the same suffix in greek.

Drpudding April 29, 2011 @ 4:47AM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Did anyone think of anonymity?

an·o·nym·i·ty   [an-uh-nim-i-tee] Show IPA
noun, plural -ties.
the state or quality of being anonymous.
an anonymous person: some fine poetry attributed to anonymities.

Nick1 December 11, 2011 @ 6:15PM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Per the OED ... Latin from Greek anōnumos ‘nameless’ (from an- ‘without’ + onoma ‘name’) ... It is said |əˈnänəməs| ... anonumos would be a better spelling.

Aside from that, I vote with no plural ending 1 anonumos, 2 anonumos ... 1 nameless, two nameless.

AnWulf December 12, 2011 @ 10:03AM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse


Anonymi January 8, 2013 @ 12:43PM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse


anonymous' October 30, 2013 @ 6:16AM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

In 'Alcoholics Anonymous' it's still an adjective - meaning 'Anonymous alcoholics' - so that's a bit of a red herring. But I have to wonder when you would ever need a plural and if you did it would be likely to revert to being an adjective - The anonymous few / two - etc.

The problem with anonymities is it sounds to more like people nobody has ever heard of, rather than people who want to keep their anonymity:

"He stood behind a steel network of banks and lawyers and anonymities, unreachable", Edgar Wallace.

"Amid the puny anonymities who inhabited what we have come to call the White House between Jackson and Lincoln" - David P.Currie

But there is a class of adjective we use for plural groups, and with a stretch of the imagination, anonymous might possible be used in a similar way -

"While the rich and famous lived on the hill, this side of town is mainly occupied by the poor and the unskilled, the homeless, the faceless and the anonymous."

In Britain we used to have a stereotype writer of angry letters to newspapers who was often referred to as ''Disgusted, of Tunbridge Wells" (perhaps there's an American equivalent). If he and his wife had signed jointly, would they have been "The Disgusteds"? I don't think the question has ever arisen.

Warsaw Will October 30, 2013 @ 2:51PM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

I suppose the numerous posts over the years show that his question is not as silly as some seem to think.
I personally came across this problem trying to formulate this sentence (GRE essay ...)
"Thus, the heroes of today are no longer living individuals but dead anonymouses." (following a point about how the 9/11 firefighters are some of the last modern heroes because unlike with celebrities, there is no chance of tarnishing their reputation through media scrutiny)
In this case, I think, it would be nice not to resort to "dead anonymous persons" in order to keep the living dead, individual anonymous.

cheshire26 November 2, 2013 @ 12:59PM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

"Thus, the heroes of today are no longer individuals living but anonymous dead."

jayles November 2, 2013 @ 1:33PM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

I pefer the slightly different -
"Thus, the heroes of today are no longer living individuals but the anonymous dead."

Warsaw Will November 2, 2013 @ 2:16PM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

I pefer, you pefer, he pefers

Warsaw Will November 2, 2013 @ 2:16PM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Just to throw my two cents in,

"Thus, the heroes of today are no longer living individuals but dead, and anonymous."

Jasper November 2, 2013 @ 9:10PM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Warsaw Will poses the question: ''Disgusted, of Tunbridge Wells". If he and his wife had signed jointly, would they have been "The Disgusteds"? I don't think they would ever have signed jointly for they would not be on speaking terms, being of a sour disposition, and would not collaborate on anything, let alone a letter.
But if they were to do so, they would still be 'disgusted' just as the multiple people involved in the term 'the great unwashed' are not the great 'unwasheds'. As folk have been saying, above, for some years, it's an adjective, not susceptible to pluralising.

Brus November 5, 2013 @ 5:51AM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Ah, there's the rub. If it were "not susceptible to pluralizing" we would not be having this exchange. Mostly I follow the "rules". But as a fan of poets and writers who long have grasped the value of tweaking our language, I now feel confident in my decision to address my indignant letter to certain corporate anonymice.

Glen B of Puget Sound December 24, 2016 @ 10:39AM

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

The plural for anonymous would be cabbage.

connor December 12, 2017 @ 5:54PM

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse