Is it Lego or Legos?

A little boy playing with Legos.

Should we say Lego or Legos? The answer might surprise you. It certainly surprised me. 

In North America we use the plural “s” because, after all, Legos are bricks, and are easy to count.

• Ow! I stepped on a Lego!

• I used sixty Legos to make this set.

In Europe, and much of the rest of the world, Lego is considered a material. Compare these sentences: 

• There is a stone in my shoe. (a thing)
• These steps are made of stone. (the material) 

• We put four bricks near the fireplace. (things) 
• The fireplace is made of brick. (material) 

• I caught four fish yesterday. (four whole things)
• I think this soup has fish in it. (material) 

This way of thinking means we should say: 
• This set is made of Lego. 

That sounds strange to me. After all, Lego isn’t a material; plastic is.  

As a parent and Lego fan, it’s hard for me to give up using the “s” on the end of Legos and I still prefer that style. I’ve stepped on enough Legos in my time to know each and every one brings with it a different kind of pain. Ask the Lego company however, and they’ll tell you that yes indeed, it is Lego, not Legos.

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