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To walk or crawl "on all fours" means to get about on hands and knees like a four-legged animal, or the process of locomotion by such an animal itself. The word four can be used as a determiner to describe a quantity of items, in which case the noun is plural: But somehow, in the expression "on all fours" the plurality has shifted from the noun presumably legs in this case to the determiner itself.

I can think of no other case where this has happened.

So somehow it got from a shortening of again presumably "on all four legs" to "on all four"; then at some point during apl next several hundred years, mirabile dictu, somehow the s migrated from legs to fours. I'm looking for where and how this could have happened. Please do not respond to tell me what the phrase means or anything like that.

I only want to know how the s got transferred from noun to foours?, or examples of other words that have undergone a similar progression, Do you like to be on all fours? any exist.

In some instances the extended form prevailed, as in eftsoons; in others it survived only in Do you like to be on all fours?, as in oftens, gaylies Scottish. About this sense, the OED suggests that its use "may have influenced the use of the" -s forms in both the sense 'on or upon all fours' with reference to the four legs of animals and the sense 'to run on or upon all fours'.

The OED also suggests that this sense "may show an independent formation" om the adj.

I'm on all fours. I could bang on all day about doggie but instead I've created a list on Do you like to observe yourself having sex in mirrors?. Human babies are little animals. Some of them are more like little nonhuman animals than others. Professor Hrdlička is convinced that children who show. All fours definition is - all four legs of a quadruped. How to fours.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

After looking at the evidence and Do you like to be on all fours? the analysis presented in the OED, I favor the explanation that all of the suggested influences played a role in the adoption and retention yoy the -s form. Of those influences, I am biased toward the last, the use qll historical prevalence of the name of the card game 'All-Fours', as the most dominant. My bias arises mostly from that being the earliest evidenced use of the -s form.

The World Wide Word suggests that the "s" was introduced in Horny bitches Jackson 19th century suggesting the four legs or extremities:. In the eighteenth century, people started to use to run on all four as a figurative expression to describe some proposition or circumstance that was fair or equitable, well-founded, sturdily able to stand by itself.

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To be on all four or to stand on all four meant to be on a level with another, to present an exact analogy or comparison a,l something else presumably the image is of two animals standing together, both on all four legs, Do you like to be on all fours? in closely similar situations.

The -s was added prob. We say "modal verbs" and often speak in shortened form of modals. Though "modal" is an adjective we add the plural-s of "verbs" to "modal" and create a new noun in plural.

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Home Questions Tags Users Buna TX housewives personals. Ask Question. From Etymonline's entry on four: To be on all fours is from ; earlier on all four 14c. Robusto Robusto k 30 I suspect a classic case of contamination: Some sources say literally two lines fore and two Do you like to be on all fours?

aft, which is suppose would have been illustrative of being li,e hands and knees. I don't think you need to posit a shortening from 'four legs' to 'fours'. It can be simply a metonymy of 'four' for each limb and there are a plural number of Sex dating in East branch. That's how it feels to me.

Perhaps "blues" is comparable to "fours", in terms of dropping the noun and appending the plural endling to the modifier: Mitch I would actually say that in threes is quite fundamentally different: That makes it parallel ish to on all fourbut it also means that on all fours ought yuo refer to all the groups of four in the world or something like that—which might work if you're a millipede, but hardly for most humans.

So the pluralising here is indeed very odd: With reference to the four legs of an animal, the alteration of 'all four [legs]', adj. The earliest use evidenced for 'all fours' in this sense is This is probable.

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The -s suffix forming adverbs may also have played llke role: This is perhaps probable. The earliest use of 'all-fours', inrefers to the name of a card game: This is possible. Well-researched, well-reasoned, well-argued.

I just found two apparent earlier mentions of "on all fours", but both turned out to be " up on all foure", after considerable investigation. One inthe other in I was very excited for half an hour. In case anyone's interested, here are the links: PhilMJones, red herrings on all fours, an evolutionary oddity!

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The World Wide Word suggests that the "s" was introduced in the 19th century suggesting the four legs or extremities: The image behind it is that of a dog or similar animal. If it has use of all four legs, it runs smoothly and evenly, as opposed to the way it would limp if one of its legs were damaged.

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This is confirmed by The OED which notes the 19th-century s-addition, [formerly all foursc. OED 3rd Ed.

Robusto - On all fours: On one's hands and knees, as in 'Seven li,e us were on all fours, looking for the lost earring in the sand'. In this idiom fours refers to the four limbs.

The extract by Mark Liberman I linked to my answer is the most comprehensive analysis I could find on this issue. It appears to be a plausible explanation.

Fastest m running on all fours - Guinness World Records - YouTube

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All Fours | Definition of All Fours by Merriam-Webster

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