Toyota insists the plural of Prius is “Prius.” That seems odd. Isn’t it in the interest of the company to draw a clear distinction between a Berkeley hippy owning one or more Prii.
But “Prii” isn’t right either. In an endnote in my book, I cite a Boston Globe column by Jan Freeman, who argues the correct plural is “Prioria,” “which (a) sounds odd, and (b) is medieval Latin for priories.” Freeman continues: “While Prius drivers are a devout lot, they probably don’t think of their cars as nunneries and monasteries.” That’s true. I also cite it in my footnote.
It turns out, though, that nine months after her original column, Freeman published a correction: The plural of Prius is neither “Prioria,” nor is it “Suburban.” It’s “Priora.”
That nixes Freeman’s (and my) pun around priories. Sadly, there’s little I can do at this point other than to point to the mistake, and to thank alert reader Bill Reynolds from Belmont, MA for pointing it out.
Either way, I call Priora “Priuses” in my book chapter.