What’s the Plural of Suspenders: Understand the Correct Usage

  • Suspenders‘ is a plural-only noun without a singular counterpart.
  • This word is used identically for both singular and plural references.
  • Plural-only nouns like ‘suspenders’ often refer to items made up of two parts.

When discussing the grammatical number of certain items in the English language, we sometimes encounter terms that exist only in plural form. Take, for instance, the word ‘suspenders.’ These articles of clothing, typically used to hold up trousers, are referred to in the plural, leading to some confusion about whether they might also have a singular form. However, according to established usage, ‘suspenders’ functions as a plural-only noun, meaning it does not have a distinct singular form and is used the same way regardless of whether one pair or multiple pairs are being discussed.

What’s the Plural of Suspenders?

Suspenders refer to the straps worn over the shoulders to hold up trousers or a skirt. Due to their intrinsic nature of being a set of straps, they are always referred to in the plural.

Even when speaking about a single garment, the term remains in its plural form, mirroring other similar plural-only nouns like glasses or trousers.

Here are two simple tables illustrating usage variations and related terms:

Usage in Sentences:

Singular ReferencePlural Reference
The suspenders are adjustable.
His suspenders snapped.

Related Terminology:

TermDescription
BraceAnother word for suspenders, chiefly British English
GallusA less commonly used synonym for suspenders

When discussing or describing this item of clothing, it is important to use the correct plural terminology:

  • He adjusted his suspenders before leaving.
  • She bought a new pair of suspenders for her costume.

Are Suspenders Plural or Singular?

There is no singular form of ‘suspenders’ when referring to this garment.

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Suspenders (U.S.)Braces (U.K.)
PluralPlural
Holds up trousersHolds up trousers

Here are some examples of usage:

  • He fastened his suspenders to ensure his trousers stayed in place.
  • Her outfit was completed with a lace garter belt, known in the UK as suspenders.
Usage ExampleContextual Meaning
He adjusted his suspenders.Referring to straps for trousers.
She wore suspenders with her evening dress.Referring to garter belts in the UK.

In usage, when mentioning the garment, it’s always referred to in the plural:

  • Incorrect: He wore a suspender.
  • Correct: He wore suspenders.

Understanding Suspenders

In the realm of fashion and clothing, suspenders are a functional and timeless accessory. Traditionally, they consist of strips of fabric or leather that are affixed to trousers to maintain their position on the body.

Suspenders Functionality

FunctionDescription
SupportSuspenders provide a means to hold up trousers, ensuring a snug fit.
AdjustmentThey offer adjustable lengths to accommodate different body sizes and preferences.

Suspenders are an alternative to belts, often favored for their comfort and the distinct style they impart.

Styles of Suspenders

  • X-back: This style forms an ‘X’ shape at the back where straps cross over.
  • Y-back: Straps come together into a single strap that forms a ‘Y’ at the back.

Each style provides a different aesthetic and disperses weight unevenly.

Attachment Methods

TypeCharacteristics
ButtonholesThey are designed to attach to buttons sewn inside the waistband of trousers.
ClipsThese can clip onto the waistband and offer versatility to be used with different pants.

Plural-Only Nouns

Further understanding of plural-only nouns is facilitated through the following tables:

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Clothing Items:

SingularPluralCorrect Usage (Plural)
suspendersThe suspenders are adjustable.
glassesThe glasses are on the table.
jeansThese jeans are on sale.

Tools:

SingularPluralCorrect Usage (Plural)
pliersThe pliers are in the toolbox.
scissorsThe scissors need sharpening.

It’s important to note that while these nouns are plural by default, referring to a single part of a pair is done by expressing ‘a pair of’ before the noun—as in “a pair of suspenders” or “a pair of scissors.”

Sentences with the Word Suspenders

Functional Usage:
Suspenders can be referred to when discussing their practical application in keeping trousers in place.

  • He adjusted his suspenders before heading to the office.
  • Many professionals prefer suspenders over belts for comfort and ease of movement.

Fashion Statements:
At times, suspenders serve as a fashion statement, adding a vintage or classic flair to an ensemble.

  • The groomsmen coordinated with red suspenders for a pop of color.
  • She paired her high-waisted pants with a chic set of leather suspenders.
Formal ContextCasual Context
His suit was complemented by silk suspenders.For the barbecue, he wore denim shorts and striped suspenders.

Descriptor Terms:
Descriptors can modify suspenders to emphasize their type or distinctive characteristics.

  • Adjustable suspenders are perfect for those who value a custom fit.
  • Children’s suspenders often feature colorful designs to appeal to younger wearers.

British English:
In British English, suspenders also refer to the fastenings that hold up stockings, not just trouser supports.

  • Her wedding attire included vintage lace suspenders.
  • He was confused by the term “suspenders” when shopping in London.
Age GroupsExamples
AdultsOur law firm’s dress code includes suspenders for court appearances.
ChildrenHer daughter’s dress came with matching floral suspenders.

Cultural References:
Sometimes suspenders are mentioned in cultural contexts, such as in television or film where a character’s attire might include suspenders as a key part of their wardrobe.

  • The detective on the show is known for his tweed jacket and suspenders.
  • In the period drama, servants wore plain, functional suspenders.

Origin of the Word Suspenders

The term suspenders refers to the elastic straps worn over the shoulders designed to hold up trousers or other articles of clothing, a common item in many wardrobes. The origins of this word trace back to early 19th-century America. Initially, the word suspenders applied to the entire device, including the straps and the attachment mechanisms.

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Etymology Table:

YearTermDefinition
1520sSuspenderOne who or that which suspends or puts a stop to
1806SuspendersAmerican English for straps holding up trousers

The plural form of suspender—suspenders—is rooted in the historical context:

Usage Evolution Table:

FormUsage
Suspender (singular)Often used in 16th century terminologies
Suspenders (plural)Adopted in 19th century to denote the garment accessory

The singular form ‘suspender’ has been observed as early as the 1520s. This agent noun derived from the verb “suspend,” signifying an entity causing something to hang from above or to put a stop to something. Over time, the meaning shifted to refer specifically to the garment accessory.

The shift to plural form was a practical development. Given that the item consists of two straps, it became standard to use the plural noun, highlighting that suspenders are composed of two main support bands. This pair of bands is now typically recognized as a single entity, which is why when referring to the item, English speakers say “a pair of suspenders.”

Sources

  1. Definition of suspenders.
  2. Sentences using suspenders.
  3. Origin of suspenders.

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