Should the sign read:

The Brownuzzi's
Joseph Brown and Eleanor Iannuzzi


The Brownuzzis
Joseph Brown and Eleanor Iannuzzi


  • 1
    This is a strange question. I guess it would depend on what the sign is indicating. Is it being hung on a house, as if to say "This house belongs to Joseph Brown and Eleanor Iannuzzi", or is it being used just to somehow indicate those two people, as in "here are Joseph Brown and Eleanor Iannuzzi"? – tobybot May 4 '17 at 22:11

Apostrophe is used for the possessive and for contractions:

Brownuzzi's house (one person)

The Brownuzzis' house (plural owners)

The Brown'uzzi family. (Ian is omitted.)

The second expresses your example of a compound name. I have never seen two names combined that way. Is it a humorous coinage?

Your example creates the additional problem that in Italian, nouns ending in "i" are plurals.

  • 1
    Brownuzzis’s should not have a final s, since it is a regular plural possessive. – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 4 '17 at 22:31
  • Please note that @JanusBahsJacquet is correct according to some stylebooks, notably Associated Press. What I have written is correct plural possessive according to the Chicago Style Manual. – Theresa May 4 '17 at 22:38
  • 1
    No, it isn't. Singular words (particularly names, and especially classical ones) that end in an s are treated varyingly, and CMoS does indeed advocate adding -’s to form possessives of them as with all other singulars; but plurals formed with the regular -s suffix always take only an apostrophe in the possessive, even in CMoS (see section 7.24), thus the boys’ clothes, not *the boys’s clothes. See also the answers to the first and third questions on this page, from the horse’s mouth. – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 4 '17 at 22:48
  • 1
    I stand corrected, thank you. I am editing my answer. – Theresa May 4 '17 at 22:53

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