Buses or Busses – What is Correct?

TL;DR – “Buses” is the correct plural form of “bus”; “busses” can refer to multiple instances of kissing.

Especially or Specially

In the English language, especially in American English, the plural of “bus” has occasionally been a subject of debate. Both “buses” and “busses” have their origins and uses, but their meanings differ:

Definition: The preferred plural form of the noun “bus,” a large vehicle designed to transport passengers. The word “bus” itself is an abbreviation derived from the Latin word “omnibus,” with “omni-” meaning “all.” The correct spelling in both American and British English for the plural form of this noun, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “buses.”

Example Sentence:

“Many of the city’s buses are equipped with apps for real-time tracking.”

Definition: While “busses” can occasionally be seen as an alternative spelling for the plural form of “bus,” especially when emphasizing the short vowel sound at the end of the word, it primarily refers to the third person singular of the word “buss.” The etymology of “buss” can be traced back to French and refers to the act of kissing.

Example Sentence:

“After the play, the lead actor busses his co-star’s hand.”

When determining the plural form of “bus,” the addition of “-es” is in line with English grammar rules that dictate when a word ends in a consonant followed by the vowel sound “-us,” its plural form usually gets the “-es” suffix, much like “fuses” from “fuse.”

In summary, while both “buses” and “busses” exist in the English lexicon, “buses” is the universally accepted and correct spelling when referring to multiple public transportation vehicles. On the other hand, “busses” leans more towards an archaic term for kisses. Always be wary of the context and, when in doubt, use a checker to ensure the correct spelling.


  • How do you spell buses in Canada?

Published on: 2023-10-03
Updated on: 2023-10-06

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Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.