Sasquatch, not sasquatches

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 7th, 2010

We might as well get the decade off to a good start.

Kelly McGillis in Canada recently asked on a yahoolist, “What is the plural of Sasquatch?”

To which I replied:
The plural and singular of Sasquatch and Bigfoot are Sasquatch and Bigfoot.

More than one Abominable Snowman and Yeti are Abominable Snowmen and Yetis.

I talked about this on Cryptomundo back in April 2006, when I put forth the case against the use of “Bigfeet,” here. Needless to say, it developed into quite a long discussion, via the comments, and resulted in the debate continuing here. Back we are, four years later.

I also noted that following the style manual established by Richard Greenwell, Secretary of the defunct International Society of Cryptozoology, and the editor of the ISC journal, Cryptozoology, the names of cryptids are to be capitalized until discovery and confirmation formally by a peer-reviewed scientific process and publication, based upon established scientific practice and English language history in this realm.

The style of this work and the use of capitalization for the undiscovered cryptids under discussion (e.g., Bigfoot, Yeti, Loch Ness Monster, Ogopogo, Nahuelito, Bunyip), follows the now well-known “manual of style” that was adopted by the International Society of Cryptozoology’s editor, the late Richard Greenwell, and the ISC scientific peer-reviewed journal, Cryptozoology. Greenwell detailed the proper capitalization of the cryptozoological names, before and after discovery, in a footnote in Cryptozoology, Vol. 5 (1986), page 101. His formalization of this matter is furthermore based on what occurs in systematic zoology, firm ground indeed.

Greenwell is very clear in his example:

Native name: okapi;
Western name for presumed, undiscovered animal: Okapi;
Common name after discovery and acceptance: okapi.

For our extended use, this translates into:

Native name: yet-teh or yeti;
Western name for presumed, undiscovered animal: Yeti;
Common name after discovery and acceptance: yeti.

Native name: oh-mah,.
Western name for presumed, undiscovered animal: Bigfoot;
Common name after discovery and acceptance: bigfoot.

Native name: nahuelito;
Western name for presumed, undiscovered animal: Nahuelito;
Common name after discovery and acceptance: nahuelito.


Native name: naitaka;
Western name for presumed, undiscovered animal: Ogopogo;
Common name after discovery and acceptance: ogopogo.

Therefore, as Lake Monster, Sea Serpent, Nessie, Bigfoot, Yeti, and related forms all have not been technically “accepted” by systematic zoology, as of this date, the capitalized form will be employed.

In terms of the plural form of the above words and the capitalization of cryptid names, I follow these rules in a strict fashion to give a common application of this rule to my written work.

I have always felt that if I hear or read of someone saying “Bigfeet,” or “sasquatches,” I figured they probably didn’t know what they were talking about in terms of Bigfoot, Sasquatch and other matters of cryptozoology.

Thus, it is incorrect to use “bigfoot,” “yeti,” and “sasquatch,” for example, at this present time.

Before Western science verification, it was the Okapi in the West, and now it is the okapi.

To which, Brian Chapman, overnight at that email list, noted I signed my comment “Loren,” and he quipped,

Shouldn’t that be “loren”?

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

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