Recently, someone asked me, “Which is correct for the plural of my last name – Strauss’s or Strausses or Strauss’???? And what about possessives?
First, let’s discuss sibilants. Merriam-Webster’s defines a sibilant as having, containing, or producing the sound of or a sound resembling that of the s or the sh in sash. It says sibilant is a present participle of sibilare, which is to “hiss, whistle, of imitative origin.”
Chicago Manual of Style says (6.7) The PLURALS of most nouns are formed by the addition of “s” or “es.” When the noun ends in soft “ch” or in “s, sh, j,x, or z,” the plural inflection is “es.”
So it appears the plural of your name is “Strausses.” The Strausses live there. The Strusses are going to Rome. The Strausses have guests.
You’d only use an apostrophe if it were used in a possessive manner: The Strauss’s landscaping…The Strauss’s dog.
Chicago Manual of Style says (6.24)The general rule for the POSSESSIVE of nouns covers most proper nouns, including most names ending in sibilants…
Examples: Kansas’s, Burn’s, Ross’s. Rice University Style Guide says:
Form the possessive of singular nouns, including proper
nouns and words ending in sibilants, with ’s (but heed exceptions
noted in Chicago).
- Mrs. Davis’s house
- The boss’s office
- Octavio Paz’s work
Here’s a terrific article:
Making Words Possessive When They End in Sibilants