If you’ve ever been to a toy shop and asked for “LEGOS,” you might have been met with a quizzical look. After all, isn’t the proper name of the popular interlocking building blocks simply “LEGO”? So, why do so many Americans refer to it as “LEGOS” — and where does this odd use of the plural originate? Let’s take a closer look at this strange linguistic phenomenon.
- “Leg godt” is a Danish phrase that translates to “play well”
- The use of the incorrect term “LEGOS” has become ingrained in our language due to its ease of pronunciation and familiarity
- The LEGO Company started using the term LEGOS in their marketing materials back in 1973
- Americans continue calling LEGO – LEGOS due to its ease of use, pronunciation, and early adoption by the company itself
- LEGO encourages creativity, problem-solving skills, and coordination, and helps with hand-eye coordination. It’s a great way for children to express themselves and engage in play with others. The possibilities are endless when using LEGO bricks!
Why Do Americans Call LEGO – LEGOS
The main takeaway is that while it is incorrect to refer to LEGO as LEGOS, this misnomer has been embraced by the LEGO Company and ingrained in our language due to its familiarity and ease of use. The LEGO Company started using the term in their marketing materials back in 1973 during a period of rapid expansion in North America and Americans have continued using both terms interchangeably ever since.
The most common explanation for why people say “LEGOS” is because it makes sense both grammatically and pronouncing-wise. The word LEGO comes from the Danish phrase “leg godt”, which translates to “play well.” Since there are usually multiple pieces involved when playing with LEGO sets, it only makes sense that one would refer to them in their plural form — LEGOS.
Not only that, but LEGO bricks are an important part of childhoods everywhere, encouraging creativity, problem-solving skills, and coordination, and helping with hand-eye coordination. It’s no wonder it has remained popular for so many years! No matter what you call them, however, one thing is clear; these plastic blocks remain an integral part of childhoods everywhere!
Another reason for using the incorrect nomenclature could be attributed to how people naturally speak. When referring to something that sounds like a plural but isn’t actually one (like scissors or eyeglasses), we tend to add an “s” anyway — even though it’s technically wrong.
So while “LEGO” is technically correct, “LEGOS” has become ingrained in our language due to its ease of pronunciation and familiarity.
Interestingly enough, the LEGO Company actually started using the term LEGOS in their marketing materials back in 1973! This was during a period of rapid expansion in North America and they wanted to make sure that American children were familiar with their product line, hence their decision to embrace the incorrect terminology instead of trying to fight against it.
Since then, they’ve continued using both terms interchangeably without any distinction between them.
It seems that Americans will continue calling them “LEGOS” for some time yet—at least until another trendier toy takes over! While this misnomer may seem strange at first glance, there are cultural and linguistic reasons why we refer to these beloved building blocks by this incorrect term from its ease of use and pronunciation, down to its early adoption by the company itself!
No matter what you call them, however, one thing is clear; these plastic blocks remain an integral part of childhoods everywhere!