Which is Correct?
According to The Chicago Manual of Style, it depends on whether you are using American English or British English.
The most common plural form of the noun hoof in American English is hooves.
In British English, it’s hoofs.
You can glean this information from the entries for hoof at Merriam-Webster.com (which records common American usage) and in the OED (which reflects British usage).
5 thoughts on “Hooves or Hoofs?”
I love these. Constantly learning. I would have sworn “hoofs” was simply incorrect. Thanks for enlightening me.
As a British born, naturalized American, I would have thought the more complicated spelling (hooves) would be the British English way of spelling. I love learning something new.
As a horse owner for over 40 years, I’ve always used hooves as the plural for hoof. I was surprised to find out that the British spelling was ‘hoofs’. I’d have thought, like Penny Thomas, that the Brits would use the more complicated spelling and that ‘hoofs’ was simply an incorrect spelling.
Thanks for the fun fact!
YES, that’s very interesting. Wonder why the plural of roof is roofs, but not “rooves”
That’s a good question! That’s what makes English so hard to learn. Too many exceptions!