Octopus Gifts

Octopi vs Octopuses vs Octopodes vs Octopus Gifts

I like Octopi. Octopuses. Octopodes.

octopus gifts

Whatever. The sea leggy things.

The problem is, whenever I try to tell someone I like octopus plural (because people are always asking me about octopuses) I never know how to use the plural for octopus.  I say “octopi” but I mumble it, because it sounds pretentious, and then I say “octopuses,” but then assume people are thinking, “Did she just call octopi octopuses? What an idiot!” and then I get all embarrassed and shuffle out of view, which happens a lot, for a myriad of reasons. I go through a lot of shoes.

Turns out, “octopi” is not the plural of octopus. People assumed “octopus” was from the Latin, and gave it the Latin plural “octopi.” But the word is Greek, and the plural is technically “octopodes,” but after years of “octopi” and “octopuses” any or all of them is as right as the other.  (I learned this from the Grammarist, where I read many things I don’t retain for more than a few minutes.)

A plethora of octopus gifts:

(the word “plethora” used to be pretentious, but then people started saying it all the time and it got really popular, so now I use it ironically, like a verbal hipster.)

“Octocurls” tee from Designed by Humans. —>

and this tee, “Deep Creature” also from Designed by Humans.

I don’t know these women. They are from the Designed by Humans web site. It was kind of them to stop by.

octopus t-shirt

And I have and love this tee from Threadless: “Loch Ness Imposter” He kind of looks like a squid, but he has eight legs, so we’re going to let that slide.



This glass octopus by Jennifer Umphress which we bought at Cocco and Salem Gallery in Key West. They shipped it to us unbroken, which I still think is the most amazing thing since the Khardashians became famous people. I wake up every morning fearing this will be the day I accidentally break the octopus somehow. I have some anxiety issues.

This steampunk octopus drawer pull we got from DaRosa Creations on Etsy to try and give our old dresser a little panache.

octopus drawer pull

This is technically a shower squid, from Uncommon Goods, not a shower octopus if you’re looking for octopus gifts, but not only do I love it because it is unique, but it is crazy useful. We don’t have much shelf space in our shower and this little guy holds all the shampoo and soaps we buy thinking they will instantly turn us into models, that then sit there untouched for months.


shower octopus


Friend and artist Debby Carman usually paints dogs, but I asked her if she would make me an octopus mug…


Due to popular demand: Want an Octopus Mug of your own? Click here!



octopusFinally, I had to have a good octopus embroidered logo at our Fish Gift Store, so I had this vintage octopus embroidery digitized so we can stitch it on polos, tees, towels, etc. So now I can make myself all sorts of octopus things.


If you have favorite octopus gifts let me know! I want them.

Amy Vansant

16 Responses

  1. Cadry

    That’s so interesting about “octopodes.” (Interestingly, even my autocorrect thought it was octopuses and just tried to change that word for me… Foolish autocorrect…)

    I have a similar internal battle around the word bruschetta. It’s an Italian word, and so the ch- should be hard like in zucchini or chianti. However, most Americans pronounce it with a sh- sound. Whenever I order bruschetta, I have an inner battle. Do I say it the correct way and have the server think I don’t know how to pronounce it? Or do I knowingly say it the wrong way?


    • Amy Vansant

      YES! I have the same problem with bruschetta!! My brother went to Italy and came back saying “brusketta” and we teased him mercilessly. Then I realized he was right, but I feel like an ass saying it!


  2. Marie Nicole

    I recently made a paper mâché octopus. He’s shaped to sit on top of our coffee maker. We call him “The Ocho”. He looks stupid, but wouldn’t you look stupid if you permanently sat on top of a coffee maker? Have I mentioned it’s an espresso machine? He’s totally jacked up!

    Octopi. Octopuses. Octopodes. I always figured since it was about 8 it’s a permanently plural word. Just like you can’t say hairs (or can you? I’m french, I know nothing of english grammar)… Whatev. I love the octy-dude!


  3. Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd

    I learned the word “plethora” from the movie The Three Amigos and I’m sure that’s how it became a more frequently used word.

    That glass octopus looks like something that would come alive while your sleeping.


  4. Michele Drier

    “Octopods”, how great! I’m a sucker for word origins and bad puns…and there must be one in here! Used to go down to a small marine biology lab near where I lived and watch the octpus change colors. They’re tres cool animals.


  5. Nina Potts

    I like the shower thingy. Question is, how difficult is it to clean if it lives in the shower of an OCD person?


  6. PinotNinja

    I have a similar conondrum with Moose. Is there a plural for Moose? Mooses sounds ridiculous, Moosi sounds way too close to the Israeli Intelligence Organizaiton to be right, and if you just say Moose (which I think might actually be correct) then its really unclear if you’re referencing just a single little cute Moose or a large number of big menacing animals. I’m from New England, and, trust me, when I start screaming “MOOSE!” in the middle of the woods I want everyone in ear shot to know just what kind of situation I have gotten myself into.

    Also, I love pleathora. I like to whip out that word and myriad when I’m felling particularly sassy.



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