There is Nothing That Comes After Once, Twice, Thrice

Daven Hiskey 11
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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11 Comments »

  1. Bill April 15, 2011 at 7:49 pm - Reply

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

  2. Nøkkenbuer August 26, 2012 at 5:34 am - Reply

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

    • Daven Hiskey
      Daven Hiskey September 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm - Reply

      @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 June 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm - Reply

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

  3. David Bornemann January 15, 2013 at 1:45 am - Reply

    I believe this is known as the Lionel Richie Rule

    • demarke May 2, 2013 at 10:11 am - Reply

      “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!

  4. Sonic February 12, 2013 at 6:00 pm - Reply


    *Head explodes*

  5. Brawny June 10, 2013 at 7:52 am - Reply

    “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!”

  6. Ilona January 24, 2014 at 9:14 pm - Reply

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

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