Plural of Kiwi

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
The plural of kiwi is kiwis or, less commonly, kiwi.

The Plural of Kiwi

The most common plural of kiwi is kiwis:
  • Named after the flightless kiwi bird, New Zealanders overseas and at home are commonly referred to as Kiwis.
  • Kiwis (also called kiwifruits or Chinese gooseberries) are available year-round because they keep well in cold storage.
Kiwi is also used as a plural, typically by biologists referring to the bird, not the fruit.
  • Kiwi are more closely related to the extinct Malagasy elephant birds than to the moa.

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The Standard Rules for Forming the Plurals

The table below shows where the plural of kiwi fits within the standard rules for forming the plurals of nouns in English.
Type Example of Type Forming the Plural Plural
Most Nouns kiwi
scythe
add s kiwis
scythes
Noun Ending s, sh, ch, x or z bus
dress
add es buses
dresses
Nouns ending [consonant] o mango
zero
tomato
add either s or es
(There are no rules for this - you have to know.)
mangoes or mangos
zeros
tomatoes
Nouns ending [vowel] o patio
ratio
add s patios
ratios
Nouns ending [consonant] y story
penny
change the y to an i and add es stories
pennies
Nouns ending [vowel] y storey ()
donkey
add s storeys
donkeys
Nouns ending f or fe dwarf
knife
ves and/or s
(There are no rules - you have to know.)
dwarfs
knives
Exceptions man
louse
some nouns undergo a vowel or letters change men
lice
More exceptions kiwi
salmon
sheep
some nouns do not change at all kiwi
(This version is now considered obsolete.)
salmon
sheep

Why Is There Confusion over the Plural of Kiwi?

There is confusion because kiwi has two acceptable plurals: kiwi and kiwis. [evidence]

Also, inexperienced writers often feel compelled to pluralize a noun ending with a vowel (e.g., piano, tomato, emu) by adding apostrophe s.

Adding 's is never an option when forming the plural of a noun.

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See Also

Unusual pluralsPlural forming table Quirks with forming plurals Forming the plurals of abbreviations Forming the plurals of compound nouns

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