While my question applies to Jenkins (software) which was named after Jenkins named meant to evoke a feel of English butler, there is a historical precent:


Wikipedia article has Jenkins' in the title and Jenkins's in reference to historical book.

However modern grammar rules seem to imply that correct possessive form in modern English would be Jenkins'es.

So what is correct? Or are several options acceptable?

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    That Wikipedia page uses Jenkins' correctly 14 times. There are only two instances of the "incorrect" version Jenkins's, both of which are (presumably verbatim) references: Carlyle discusses Jenkins' Ear in several passages of his History of Friedrich II(1858), most notably in Book XI, chap VI, where he refers specifically to "the War of Jenkins's Ear". Note that Jenkins'es is not (nor ever was) remotely acceptable. Sep 2, 2014 at 14:05
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    Correctly? edufind has: 'proper nouns [ending in s] (names of people, cities, countries etc.) can form the possessive either by adding the 's or simply adding the ': a. The Hughes' home (or the Hughes's home), Mr Jones's shop (or Mr Jones' shop), Charles' book (or Charles's book)' >> (Some people make a choice informed by whether they pronounce the extra syllable or not. Some even make this into a rule. // If a city / organisation decides on one form they want to be used, that is a rule.) Sep 2, 2014 at 14:49
  • @Edwin: I put "incorrect" in scare quotes precisely because the possessive s is sometimes enunciated and/or written. Personally, I think so far as the written form is concerned, the "rule" is that you write it if and only if you [would] say it. I don't recall ever hearing anyone say it in this specific case - but I do recognise that a significant minority of people speak of St James's Park (though the majority don't). Sep 2, 2014 at 15:32
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    Lynne Truss, in her work "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" states '... Companies such as Lloyds TSB and Lloyd's of London, organisations etc, and places such as [St Andrews,] St Thomas' Hospital and St James's Square, already have authority over how their names should be spelt.' She also says that conventions tend to differ for modern nouns and 'nouns of antiquity'. This gets really tricky with say "Athens' early history ..., but Athens's recent history ..." (or is it the other way round?) Sep 3, 2014 at 9:10
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    With respect to "The War of Jenkins' Ear": this has probably become idiomatic. But if you wish to say "Bill Jenkins' helicopter", modern 'rules of thumb' given in some style guides say "use Jenkins's to show you'd read it as three syllables, Jenkins' to show you prefer the two-syllable variant". Sep 3, 2014 at 9:22

1 Answer 1


Names ending in s get their apostrophe welded on at the end. The correct answer is Jenkins'.

Noting occasional stray errors in a Wikipedia page that otherwise gets it correct, or how people say it aloud, is interesting but beside the point. The rule is simple and has nothing to do with how people say things out loud (written English is not subjugate to this year's crop of mis-speech.)