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What is the plural of bolus?

What is the plural of bolus?


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metallica81788

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    1. Attending Physician
      Would love for it to be "boli," as I am a huge fan of the us --> i pluralism. However, "boluses" just seems right in our context.

      Maybe we should do a retrospective chart review to validate its use? Red journal worthy, certainly.
       
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      Chartreuse Wombat

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      1. Attending Physician
        Bolus is from the Greek so the answer is boluses. In Latin second declension masculine -us usually becomes -i in the plural. Many mistakenly use opus, opera as an exception but everyone knows that opus is third declension neuter.
         
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        scarbrtj

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        1. Attending Physician
          English, a Germanic language, is so confusing for pluralization. If you were in Greece or Rome ~1000-2000y ago and wanted to say "lump" you wouldn't have added an English sounding "-es" to the Greek or Latin words; the end sound would sound like "oy eye" or "eye" (or Latin "ee" really). The peribolus (peribolos) when pluralized is spelled as and sounds as "periboloi"(Greek-ish) or "periboli" (Latin-ish). Medicine/science tends to follow the Greek/Latin pretty closely, by tradition, but has allowed some exceptions from this as in the case of uterus/uteruses. But it's been few and far between. Think how odd English pluralization would be for:

          Alveolus -> alveoli
          Embolus -> emboli
          Nucleolus -> nucleoli
          Malleolus -> malleoli

          So I think by tradition, for sure, and I believe on technicality, I'm less sure, "boluses" is a mistake. But not a huge one. I believe the best example is "embolus," because I really have never read "emboluses." FWIW I say "boli"... but I also say octopi.

          EDIT: As an aside, whenever Ebola and E. coli are in the news at the same time, surprising to hear how many lay people say "Did you hear about that E. boli breakout?"
           
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          Chartreuse Wombat

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          1. Attending Physician
            Each dictionary site I can find says boluses.


             
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            medgator

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            1. Attending Physician
              Boli. - BOWL-eye. But in clinical practice I'm not going to bat an eye if people say boluses.

              To differentiate from Boli (BOH-lee), asmentioned above by medgator
              Or bolo.... Like the tie

               
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              scarbrtj

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              1. Attending Physician
                Each dictionary site I can find says boluses.


                Your point about the Greek was good... perhaps it should really be "boloi"? The Greek βωλος ("bolos": a lump, which became the Latin bolus) plural is βώλοι ("boloi"). Makes sense since peribolus plural is periboloi. But wow, emboloi would be a tongue twister.

                 
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