How to Pluralize Last Names for Christmas Cards

As we finish addressing our cards and stamping the envelopes, let’s wrap up our discussion of how to pluralize last names with tricky, sticky spellings.


Question: What if my last name ends with “y”?


With common nouns that end with “y” such as puppy, the grammar rule dictates changing the “y” to “i” and adding “es.” Puppy becomes puppies when pluralized. However, that rule does not apply to proper names. You will never change the spelling of your last name to make it plural; you simply keep the “y” and add an “s” to the end. If the last name is Terry, the plural is Terrys. If the last name is Maley, the plural is Maleys. 


Question: But what if my last name ends with a “ys” already?


You add “es” to the end of the “ys.” For example, if the last name is Haleys, then you would write “Happy Holidays from the Haleyses.”


So, that leads to a question I would ask: What if it looks ugly?


My friend’s last name is Kellums. She detests the way her pluralized last name looks: Kellumses. But even if you don’t like how it looks, it’s still grammatically correct. You never use an apostrophe to pluralize your last name.


And listen, I get it. A colleague’s last name is Samuels. The plural expression of her last name is Samuelses. Truly, it does look awkward and clunky. So, if you don’t like how your name looks when making it plural for this year’s holiday greeting cards, then here’s a solution that works for everyone. Cheat. Change the wording. You are welcome to say:


Merry Christmas from the Samuels Family

Season’s Greetings from the Kellums Family


But, whatever you do, don’t add an apostrophe.


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