"Once, twice, thrice,...", what comes next?



How would you complete the following sequence, until point 10?

  1. Once
  2. Twice
  3. Thrice
  4. (...)

Any help would be appreciated.

An old man in the sea.

Posted 2016-12-29T10:17:41.453

Reputation: 935

8Thrice is a little old-fashioned (in BrE). Most people in the UK say "three times". – Mick – 2016-12-29T10:26:10.387

@Mick - Same in the US, I think. It was a little surprising, but I've used thrice a couple times and the person I was speaking with or writing to was unfamiliar with the word. – J.R. – 2016-12-29T10:31:21.483

3@J.R. Some of my friends use it, but then we're all old codgers. :-] – Mick – 2016-12-29T10:32:39.060

3Thrice now seems to be more common in Indian English than in British or American. – alephzero – 2016-12-29T11:44:54.007


EL&U related question: I've said it once, I've said it twice, I've said it a thousand times

– Mari-Lou A – 2016-12-29T13:24:07.180

Nothing comes after thrice. There are no other English words in the series. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica – 2017-07-25T20:15:42.613



As others have stated in the comments, you would continue like this:

  1. Once
  2. Twice / a couple of times
  3. Thrice / Three times
  4. Four times
  5. Five times
  6. Six times
  7. Seven times
  8. Eight times
  9. Nine times
  10. Ten times

Note: "a couple" doesn't always mean exactly two, although it often does.

As mentioned by Mick in the comments, thrice is quite old fashioned and while most people in the UK would understand, it's not commonly used.

You might also reference the fact that 12 is also known as a dozen (and therefore 6 is half a dozen):

  • 6 times = Half a dozen times (or "a half dozen times" in the US sometimes)
  • 12 times = A dozen times

There are also some other ways to reference numbers of "things" which don't really apply or work in the "times" example (some of which are a little archaic and more likely to be seen in literature or poetry than in everyday conversational speech/writing):

  • 2 ants -> a pair/duo of ants
  • 3 mice -> a trio/trinity of mice
  • 4 cats -> a quartet of cats
  • 5 dogs -> a quintet of dogs
  • 20 birds -> a score of birds
  • 144 eggs -> a gross of eggs (more often called 12 dozen eggs)

In the UK, we also have some slang for certain amounts of money:

  • £5 = a fiver
  • £10 = a tenner
  • £20 = a score (like above)
  • £25 = a pony
  • £500 = a monkey
  • £1000 = a grand (also used in the US)

There are a load more which originated in cockney rhyming slang, but those above are the most common.

Anyway, I've gone quite a bit off-topic there, but hopefully answered your question and gave you a little additional insight as well.


Posted 2016-12-29T10:17:41.453

Reputation: 1 443

7I've never heard anyone seriously say "a score", "a pony", or "a monkey" when referring to quantities of money. While those are slang terms that are likely used in some areas they're far from universal in the UK! Fiver and tenner, or the other hand, I'd say are very common. In your animals example, I'd say only "pair" and to a lesser extent "trio" I would expect to hear; the others would sound (to me) archaic, poetic, or perhaps sensible only in some contexts (eg of a string quartet). – Muzer – 2016-12-29T11:29:33.053

@Muzer fair enough, depending on where you live in the UK, cockney rhyming slang and terms derived from it may not be particularly common. I've always lived in the South, so I have heard these terms relatively frequently (and in TV and movies - try Lock Stock or Snatch - or any Guy Ritchie movie to be honest - if you'd like some examples). :)

– 3N1GM4 – 2016-12-29T11:33:03.200

@3N1GM4 I've lived in the south for most of my life too, but I expect Hampshire is just a bit too far from East London for this to me a thing for me... either that or I just haven't been watching the right TV! – Muzer – 2016-12-29T12:00:22.227

@Muzer I was born and raised in Hampshire, so maybe I just watched more cockney gangster movies than you when I was growing up. :) – 3N1GM4 – 2016-12-29T13:23:13.103

14The answer to the original question is good. But the additional info is spurious and questionable. Sorry. I've never come across "a trinity" except in Church, and "a trio" is quite unusual too. Most people would just say 'three'. I've also never heard "quartet" or "quintet" used outside of the music world. Definitely not for cats and dogs. "Score" meaning 20 is correct but archaic; nobody uses it now. "Pony" and "Monkey" are cockney slang and would only apply to money; I've never heard either in actual use either. – Simba – 2016-12-29T13:24:38.707

@Simba I've certainly heard trio many times, for example a "trio of mini desserts" in a restaurant I went to recently. I agree that some of the others are rarely used in everyday conversation and are more likely to be seen in literature, poetry or other art, as I have stated. As the additional information is included after directly answering the original question, does it harm my answer? I feel that removing it would not make the answer better, unless somehow brevity is desirable in an answer, at the expense of tangential (and potentially interesting) additional information. – 3N1GM4 – 2016-12-29T13:28:46.593

2@3N1GM4 I'm not a regular user here, so I can't say whether its helpful or harmful for an answer to have additional info. What I would say here is that some of it is quite a long way removed from the original question, so it's not really particularly relevant. But the answer has been accepted so the OP obviously found it useful, which is ultimately the objective on a Q&A site, so I guess it's fine. :) – Simba – 2016-12-29T13:36:17.980

One other thing: Since you mentioned a couple and a dozen/half-dozen it's worth noting that in the same vein, "a lone" = "one", "a few" = "three" and "a handful" = "five". They are quite deliberately vague; if you want to to be specific about the number, you'd say "five", not "a handful"; but I mention them because the fit in with the other words you already mentioned. – Simba – 2016-12-29T13:42:00.977

3@Simba "A couple", "a dozen" etc. are actually quite specific in many (most?) contexts, whereas "a few" and "a handful" are most definitely not. When used unqualified I'd often expect the former to mean the exact values, but not the latter. – Muzer – 2016-12-29T13:53:50.580

@Simba as per Muzer's comment, I deliberately avoided any examples which were not specific to one single numeric value (like "a few" or "a handful" as you mention). Even for me, that seemed too far off topic. :)

– 3N1GM4 – 2016-12-29T14:06:46.897

A fiver and tenner are also used pretty commonly in the US to refer, respectively, to a $5 and $10 bill. – 1006a – 2016-12-29T16:35:34.950

1@Muzer "A couple", in my experience, is usually not so specific. If I asked somebody "How many things are there?" and they said "A couple", I'd interpret that to mean "I think there were two but I'm not absolutely certain; there might have been one or three." If they said "Two", I'd interpret that to be mean exactly two, with a good deal of certainty. On the other hand, I'd interpret "a dozen" to mean "twelve". – David Richerby – 2016-12-29T22:27:48.920

@Muzer it is used in the world of finance, specifically futures trading amongst futures traders. – noɥʇʎԀʎzɐɹƆ – 2016-12-30T18:58:49.043


"a couple of times" is more ambiguous than that. Not citing it as a source, but the XKCD link gets it right and is obligatory. ;)

– jpmc26 – 2016-12-31T10:28:55.480

I've heard pony and monkey on Minder (I live in Australia). However, I've heard that not all Cockney slang used in Minder is genuine. – CJ Dennis – 2017-01-02T23:12:19.650

The only time Americans recognise "a score" as meaning 20 is in Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, about 150 years ago (7.5 score)! It's uncommon in the US, but more advanced/historically-minded speakers can understand it to mean 20. – user45266 – 2019-02-12T07:27:41.023

A score is commonly used in the UK (especially in the South East) to mean £20. – 3N1GM4 – 2019-03-04T23:00:38.807



and then there were none


Posted 2016-12-29T10:17:41.453

Reputation: 63 575


Anyone who plays DROD knows it's:

  • Thrice
  • Quarce
  • Quince
  • Sence
  • Septence
  • Octence
  • Novence
  • Tonce

Edit: Just to clarify, these are - indeed - protologisms. In DROD, they're used to indicate room coordinates (for comedic effect, instead of common notation), e.g. "Twice North, Septence West".

Sorry for the confusion - I should've mentioned it's not standard language.


Posted 2016-12-29T10:17:41.453

Reputation: 173

4And for the vast vast majority of those who don't, they won't. – Mari-Lou A – 2016-12-30T15:11:31.063

1Writhe, could you please indicate the exact section of the DROD link, where I can find such information? thanks in advance – An old man in the sea. – 2016-12-30T16:41:19.837

1from wikipedia, it seems the words are 'protologisms'/neologisms... – An old man in the sea. – 2016-12-30T16:44:10.270

@Anoldmaninthesea. Yes. Yes they are. Just edited the answer, for clarity. – Writhe – 2016-12-30T17:21:26.377

6This is all well and good for that particular game, but that's not the point of this site at all. – Chris Hayes – 2016-12-30T22:56:13.507

Actually I really appreciate the information. Clearly when it comes to enumerating the frequency of occurrence of things, it is quite frustrating to realize that your native language lacks the necessary words. But in English, we coin words all the time so why not go with these protologisms? – bearvarine – 2017-07-25T18:43:01.837



Four times, five times, etc..


Posted 2016-12-29T10:17:41.453

Reputation: 139


"Nothing! These three are the only words of their type, and no further terms in the series have ever existed." [1]

But you can use tuples,

Names for tuples of specific lengths 1 single 2 double 3 triple/treble 4 quadruple 5 quintuple pentadruple 6 sextuple hexatruple 7 septuple 8 octuple 9 nonuple 10 decuple 11 undecuple hendecuple 12 duodecuple 13 tredecuple 100 centuple

[1] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/explore/what-comes-after-once-twice-thrice


Posted 2016-12-29T10:17:41.453

Reputation: 11