Is it incorrect to say "shoes shopping" when buying multiple pairs of shoes?

This is analogous to saying the plural of "attorney general" is "attorneys general".


No, it is not correct to say shoes shopping. The expression that's actually used is shoe shopping with no s at the end of shoe and where the noun shoe is used as an adjective (or attributively as professional grammarians would put it) describing another noun shopping. Although some might argue that shopping is a gerund, it practically makes no difference what you call it here. Long story short, shoe should be singular because we don't pluralise adjectives in English.

The situation is a tad different when it comes to phrases like attorney general. The actual noun is attorney and general is the adjective describing attorney. As you can see, it comes after the noun. That's why the plural form of attorney general is attorneys general and not attorney generals.

When adjectives are used like that, they are called postpositive adjectives which is a vanishingly rare thing in Modern English. This kind of usage was influenced primarily by the French and Latin languages where it is normal for adjectives to be in the postpositive position. You will mostly see adjectives of this type only used as part of set expressions such as postmaster general, court martial, heir apparent, time immemorial etc.

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We can established a paralelism with the term

shoe shop

a shop which sells shoes

That kind of establishment is not called shoes shop. So you go shoe shopping if you go to shoe shops for any quantity of shoes.

Additionally, I have found some disgusting slang for shoe shopping. Maybe just shopping is a good term.

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