From the misuse of apostrophes on signs in greengrocers' shops.
- An apostrophe used incorrectly to form the plural of a noun through ignorance of the use of the apostrophe.
1998, Richard M. Hogg; et al, The Cambridge History of the English Language, page 121:
- It is hardly surprising that these conventions seem to be in rapid collapse, with what has been called "the greengrocer's apostrophe" (apple's 60p, Antique's, linguistic's, and perhaps even mean't, all personally attested) […]
- 1993, British Film Institute, Sight and Sound Film Review
- […] sign advertising the Pari's Hotel is less an early case of greengrocer's apostrophe than a sardonic Pascalian allusion (pari in French meaning 'bet').
- 2004, Joy Burrough-Boenisch, Righting English That's Gone Dutch
- When applied in English it produces greengrocer's apostrophes.