30

If Batman met a clone of himself or a Batman from an alternate dimension, would we say:

There are two Batmen

or

There are two Batmans

You'd assume Batmen but Batman is his name, not his title.

Have we ever seen any examples in canon?

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    Holy Batmen, Batman; there's two Batmans! – Mazura Aug 19 '15 at 7:26
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    @daft you mean bat bats? – Canadian Luke Aug 19 '15 at 11:04
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    I’m fairly sure it’s Batsman. – Paul D. Waite Aug 19 '15 at 12:20
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    @DevSolar in Soviet Russia, man bats you! – Daft Aug 19 '15 at 16:46
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    According to the Dark Knight film, it's Batman and a bunch of guys wearing hockey pads – Question Marks Aug 19 '15 at 20:00
38

This issue of Superman/Batman is called:

Supermen/Batmen

So I'd have to assume that's the correct way to say it.

Grammatically, Batmans might actually be correct since it's his name and not his title, like you say. But Batmans just sounds wrong.

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    There is one Batman, and one poser? – Major Stackings Aug 19 '15 at 7:18
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    @Daft: Disagree with the final sentence. He is known as THE Batman. Therefore, Batman is noun and can support any plural. Furthermore, there's probably a legitimate argument that building a compound word out of two nouns "normally" will take the plural based on the plural of the final noun. – ThePopMachine Aug 19 '15 at 18:23
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    @ThePopMachine that's why I qualified it with might, because I really wasn't sure. – Daft Aug 19 '15 at 18:25
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    @ThePopMachine He calls himself Batman... So who's wrong here, you or Batman? – Ingu Shama Aug 19 '15 at 18:35
  • @InguShama: When you say "There are two Batmen/Batmans" you are really using it as a noun with a meaning, not a name (which is also a noun, I know). It's not the same as saying "There are two Johnsons" where you are focusing on the name, not what the word means. – ThePopMachine Aug 19 '15 at 18:40
18

There is a group of "Batmen" in Superman - Red Son. It is never referred to as "Batmans".

Superman - Red Son, Pt. 3

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    Isn't that a group referring to themselves as "The Batmen", though? That's different from multiple people who are each referred to as "The Batman" - the plural for the latter would be "The Batmans", I think. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Aug 19 '15 at 22:51
1

There have in fact been multiple occasions in the comics where Batmen was used as the plural form of Batman, one such instance being the "Batmen of All Nations".

As a footnote, aside from instances in which the Bruce Waynes of multiple dimensions have encountered each other, there have been several individuals to take up the mantle of Batman over the years in various continuities, such as Jean Paul Valley, Dick Grayson, and Terry McGinnis.

1

Grammatically, while Batman is used like a proper noun, its derivation is a descriptive conjunction of two common nouns, formed in such a way that the noun "bat" serves like an adjective as a descriptive modifier to the common noun "man," because, well... we can skip that explanation right? Oh good.

So it is in fact totally fine to use the common plural of "man" (e.g., "men") and conjoin that once again with "bat" to arrive at "Batmen." We even have other answers here showing that this is a canonically accepted form.

But one consideration that no one has met is that the idea of many Batmen is slightly ludicrous. And "Batman" does indeed serve as a proper noun contextually. Thus, "Batmans" may actually be the right wording in particular contexts when wanting to call attention to the comical nature it may invoke, given how—technically correct or not—clumsily wrong it sounds.

Example:

"There is a bevy of Batmans headed our way! What is this I don't even?"

0

Batman is a proper noun so you will pluralize the full noun rather than use the plural of 'man'. So 'Batmans' is actually correct. This is similar to Brother-in-laws (instead of brothers-in-law) or Book of Mormons (instead of Books of Mormon).

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    Except that it actually is "brothers-in-law"... – corsiKa Aug 19 '15 at 17:25
  • @corsiKa, not the movie. But yes, you are correct. – Paul Draper Aug 19 '15 at 17:40
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    Your off on the Book of Mormon, it's actually "there are multiple copies of the Book of Mormon" since the Book of Mormon is actually a collection of books already. See english.stackexchange.com/questions/168815/… – Ryan Aug 19 '15 at 18:06
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    This is quite simply not correct. Just because something is a proper name does not mean that you automatically have to pluralise it by simply tacking -s on to the end of the entire noun phrase. Man of Steel is also a proper noun, but there is no doubt whatsoever that its plural would be Men of Steel, not *Man of Steels. The name Batman is completely transparently perceived as a determinative (and thus endocentric) compound noun with man as its head noun, and there is nothing to indicate that its plural would naturally be anything but Batmen. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 19 '15 at 18:24
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    @krayzk, if you need to resort to manufacturing homonyms to preserve your argument, you might consider conceding the point. – TheFontSnob Aug 19 '15 at 22:32

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