Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

Pain in the English offers proofreading services for short-form writing such as press releases, job applications, or marketing copy. 24 hour turnaround. Learn More

Plural proper nouns ending in consonant-y

What about proper nouns as in team mascots? Our school mascot is a Grizzly. Would students be Grizzlies or Grizzlys? Since it’s a school’s mascot I’d like for it to be correct, but for the last 20 years it’s been spelled Grizzlies. I believe that spelling to be incorrect. Academic input please:o)

Submit Your Comment



Sort by  OldestLatestRating

as far as I'm familiar with the proper nouns, you don't make any inflectional changes when making plural form.
with common nouns, as you know, y changes into ie if a consonant precedes y.
but that rule doesn't stand for proper n.

caes June 14, 2009, 5:26pm

2 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

Bill's first instinct:
I was taught that pluralizing all forms of nouns is the same. In this context, the correct form is Grizzlies.

This is another issue though that has changed since I was little. People now want to say Grizzlys, which to me is incorrect. It seems that the rule for families -- ie, we went out with the Marleys last weekend-- is something people want to put into situations of teams and etc. I'm against it but it seems to be up for grabs.

millerresponsible June 15, 2009, 10:56pm

3 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

Do not change the spelling of proper nouns, hence Grizzlys.
--English major and TA

demisty July 2, 2009, 6:54pm

2 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

Memphis Grizzlies (first Vancouver Grizzlies)... of course the proper plural is "grizzly bears"

mpbrewster July 15, 2009, 4:13pm

3 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

The correct plural of "grizzly" is "grizzlies."

The rule for plural nouns ending in "y" is this:

If the "y" is preceded by a vowel the plural is formed by adding an "s."

If the "y" is preceded by a consonant the plural is formed by omitting the "y" and substituting "ies."

Note that neither "grizzly bear" nor "grizzly" (in the sense of a bear rather than as an adjective) are proper nouns. A proper noun is one that designates a particular being or thing. "Grizzly bears" designates a type of bear, as does "grizzly," not a particular bear. Once you have adopted the word as a name it becomes a proper noun, of course, but it is taken from a common noun that has already been made plural.

douglas.bryant August 12, 2009, 9:16am

5 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

thanx nobody else could help me?

drublue13 November 5, 2010, 7:06pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

pony ponies

kayrah March 14, 2011, 9:39am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Is there an an exception to the rule of taking off the y and adding ies to the end of a word.

Many thanks

Maryary October 19, 2011, 11:38am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Pony and city are not proper nouns.

How do you pluralize a name ending in y?

Ex: There were three different Andys in the room? Should an apostrophe be used?

Hughestwin1 December 24, 2011, 10:45am

2 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

I think it's Grizzlies

Soulslayer780 January 8, 2013, 4:32pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

'Pony' makes 'ponies'.
'Donkey' makes 'donkeys'.
But I think it's 'grizzlies' anyway.

Skeeter Lewis January 9, 2013, 6:49am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

That great hunter Teddy Roosevelt - after whom the teddy bear was named - spelled the word 'grisly'. I don't think there was any semantic reason to do so.
His memoir 'Ranch Life & the Hunting Trail', illustrated by Remington, is a wonderful read.

Skeeter Lewis January 9, 2013, 11:22am

2 votes    Permalink    Report Abuse

Yes     No