Plural of staff - is it staffs or staves

Wizards use them to enhance their magic powers - a staff.  My question is, what is the correct plural form of the word "staff"?  Normally, if a word ends in an "F" like "leaf", you change the "F" to a "V" and add "es", making "leaf" become "leaves".  I otherwise don't see "stafves" though I see a near-even mix of both "staves" and "staffs".  Which is the correct plural of "staff" or is that one of those odd cases where both are equally correct?


  • Not a wizard myself, I've always seen them grouped together as "staves".

  • Staves if the staff is a type of rod or stick, Staffs is you are thinking of the plural of a member of staff or employee.

  • From Wikipedia:

     "The plural form of staff was originally staves (compare wolf, wolves and knife, knives), and in British and International English this is still preferred. In American English the usual plural form has become staffs, except in fantasy literature. The old English plural form staves collectively describes the wooden sticks bound by iron hoops to form traditional wooden barrels."

    Also, here's the link from Merriam-Webster's online dictionary:

    Hope this helps!


  • I'm referring to the rod or stick type, the kind wizards use.  Thanks for response and clearing this up.

  •  It is the members of the Staff and the word 'staff; has no plural form

  • This thread is 5 years old, but when you reply you need to read what the question is.

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