There is Nothing That Comes After Once, Twice, Thrice

Today I found out there is nothing that comes after the sequence “once, twice, thrice”.

Interestingly, even though these words are roughly equivalent, differing only in the numeric value they refer to, it is now considered poor English to use “thrice” instead of the equivalent “three times”.  At the same time, it is considered poor English to use “one time” instead of “once”, which seems odd given “thrice” is now taboo.  Just as odd, “twice” is currently considered equally as proper as “two times” in modern English.

So what we now have here is “once” being proper to use; twice being acceptable, but not necessarily preferred over its equivalent “two times”; “thrice” being a no-no; and then nothing beyond that.  English!

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  • Bill

    Maybe this is a British thing? It’s news to me in the USA

  • Actually, frice is the fourth number that comes after it, though it is used rarely and often only in satirical situations.

    • Daven Hiskey

      @Nokkenbuer: That’s been popping up recently, but still hasn’t made its way into the dictionaries of the world. Oxford, for instance still only goes with once, twice, thrice. Of course, English is always evolving, so some day frice might work its way into the language officially.

      • yo

        I’ve also heard the word quarce used for four times.

  • David Bornemann

    I believe this is known as the Lionel Richie Rule

    • demarke

      “You’re once, twice, three times a lady”… yep, your story checks out. That Lionel Ritchie was always on the cutting edge of the latest grammatical standards!

  • Sonic

    *Head explodes*

  • Brawny

    “Well how about this? Miami is nice, so I’ll say it THRICE”?

    “Thr…Who the hell says ‘thrice’?”

    “It’s a word.”

    “Well so is ‘intrauterine’–but it does not belong in a song!”

  • Ilona

    Oh dear how to remember to do the right…. Correct thing …once , twice & three times

  • Simon

    This is nonsense. Who told you this and from which vanquished nation do you hail?

    “Thrice is now taboo” – please qualify this statement. “One time” and Two times” is very American-English, not proper English.

  • Rob

    I’m not sure about four, but five is quince 😉

    • Knight Yoshi

      That’s not five. Quince is as defined by the Oxford Dictionary:

      1) “A hard, acid pear-shaped fruit used in preserves or as flavouring.”

      2) “The shrub or small tree which bears quinces, native to western Asia.”

  • bob

    Here are the terms that half of the internet says does not exist:

    Once, Twice, Thrice, Quarce, Quince, Sence, Septence, Octence, Novence, Tonce, Elevonce, Twolce, Thorce, Quartonce, Quintonce, Sextonce, Septonce, Octonce, and Noventonce.

    these were found in multiple sites but in many places the words are not currently recognized/are antiquated.

    • Knight Yoshi

      According to the Oxford Dictionary, there was nothing developed past thrice.

  • Braydyn

    What about Umpteenth…

    • TurtleGod

      Umpteenth means an indefinitely large number in succession.