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In OED2, it is "philosophers' stone". In Chambers 21st Century, it is "philosopher's stone".

FWIW, my 1999 edition of Brewer has "philosopher's stone".
John Hall
Johnson: "Well, we had a good talk."
Boswell: "Yes, Sir, you tossed and gored several persons." Dr Samuel Johnson (1709-84); James Boswell (1740-95)
In OED2, it is "philosophers' stone". In Chambers 21st Century, it is "philosopher's stone".

FWIW, my 1999 edition of Brewer has "philosopher's stone".

Ha! My Brewer, which is undated but must be in the range 1946-1956, has "Philosophers' Stone" and "Philosophers' Tree", but "Philosopher's Egg".

My first edition (2000) of the Oxford DoP&F has all three entries as "Philosopher's".
Matti
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The head form in the OED is 'Philosophers' stone'. If it were not so, I would have told you. Did you read as far as 'It will be seen that the correct form is not philosopher's, but philosophers' stone.' in the OED note I quoted above?

John Dean
Oxford
(Note. Lapis philosophorum occurs in works attributed to

Raymund Lully (1234-1315), and in those of Arnoldus de Villa ... presumably even in the head form of the OED entry.

The head form in the OED is 'Philosophers' stone'. If it were not so, I would have told you. Did ... will be seen that the correct form is not philosopher's, but philosophers' stone.' in the OED note I quoted above?

You didn't tell me either way - I'm not psychic. I understand that none of the OED's citations give the plural form. Now, that's naughty - they've crossed the "dictionaries are descriptive not prescriptive" line. They shouldn't have done it without any citations to support them.
John Briggs
In article

, Matti
FWIW, my 1999 edition of Brewer has "philosopher's stone".

Ha! My Brewer, which is undated but must be in the range 1946-1956, has "Philosophers' Stone" and "Philosophers' Tree", but "Philosopher's Egg". My first edition (2000) of the Oxford DoP&F has all three entries as "Philosopher's".

As does my 1894 edition of Brewer.

(URL removed)
Llanberis Pass
How insignificant are man's endeavours!
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The head form in the OED is 'Philosophers' stone'. If it were not so, I would have told you. Did ... will be seen that the correct form is not philosopher's, but philosophers' stone.' in the OED note I quoted above?

Yes it does say that. But it fails to cite a single example of that
use, which makes its statement about "correct" use distinctly suspect
IMO. BTW I'm working from the Second Edition CD ROM v3.0 of 2002.

Mike Stevens, narrowboat Felis Catus II
web site (URL removed)
Old teachers never die, they simply lose their class.
In the absence of an academy defining "correct" English use, ... by others than on any metaphysical conception of absolute correctness.

It is, nevertheless, strange if the OED (or at least the edition seen by the poster) doesn't give a citation. ... useage has changed over the ages, or been contentious. If I can be *** I'll excavate my edition and check.

To save you the trouble, OED2 doesn't mention "philosopher's stone" at all. Only "philosophers' stone".
But, as I have mentioned twice before (look, it's all cited above in this post and in yours too, much as I hate cascade posting), in a dictionary more recent than OED2, "philosopher's stone" occurs. It occurs too in the title of a popular children's novel, which also post-dates OED2.
This is all I want to say. I am not going to be drawn into a silly argument about which form is more "correct" in contemporary English. I am merely pointing out what exists in the references cited.

Giles.
Why don't you all write to JKR and ask her if she intended it to mean one Philosopher or more, instead of getting into smart-alec answers.
Mike
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Why don't you all write to JKR and ask her if she intended it to mean one Philosopher or more, instead of getting into smart-alec answers.

Don't top-post.

John Briggs
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