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What’s the Plural of Scarf?

Both scarves and scarfs are correct ways to describe more than one scarf.

What’s the plural of “scarf”?

Scarves used in application.

Both scarves and scarfs are correct ways to describe more than one scarf. They are, however, pronounced differently: scarves is pronounced like skahrvz; whereas scarfs is more like skahrfs. There’s a harsh ‘f‘ sound on the second spelling that scarves omits.

Either way, both scarves and scarfs are correct plural forms to refer to these woollen and winter-stylish wardrobe essentials, the scarf (unless you mean he scarfed down his food, i.e., the verb; in which case, use scarfed for past tense).

Nouns that end in f or fe often switch to ves as a plural.
Nouns that end in f or fe often switch to ves as a plural (like knife and scarf).

What’s the singular of “scarf”?

It’s scarf.

What’s a “scarf”? defines the word scarf as:

A long, broad strip of wool, silk, lace, or other material worn about the neck, shoulders, or head, for ornament or protection against cold, drafts, etc.

Nouns that end in -f/fe and -ves

Scarves (pl. n.) spelled with –ves is not alone in its irregularity as a plural noun in English. Scarf, which is a Germanic word (includes languages such as Frankish, and Old Norse), is in the same family of irregular plural nouns, etymologically speaking, as shelf, hoof, wolf, knife, life, and so on and so forth.

scarf scarves
life lives
shelf shelves
self selves
half halves
Latin nouns ending in -f/-fe and –ves. Chart by Grammarflex.

Evidently, the Germanic languages had numerous ways to demonstrate a noun as plural; that is, besides the standard -s/-es (read: I-mutation/I-umlaut, a particular favourite on the #gflex corner of the deep web.)

Examples of “scarf” in sentences

1. When you wear a silk scarf in the winter, there isn’t special need to reinvent the wheel. (NathanKong, “Ways to Wear a Scarf“)

2. The feel of a soft scarf loosely draped around your neck can be such a comforting touch.  (News 24, “Scarfs are not only for winter”)

3. Draped over a top and paired with trousers, a solid coloured scarf will lend any look some sophistication.

4. Tied over a tailored trench coat and laidback jeans, a rich green scarf for example, will convey a relaxed off-duty look.  (PopSugar, ‘Cool ways to wear your scarf’)

Examples of scarves/scarfs used in context

The following sentences show the correct use of the word scarves in context:

1. Symbols of comfort and warmth, scarves have rightfully earned their status as winter wardrobe essentials. (PopSugar)

2. I prefer nylon scarves over wool ones because they are less scratchy. (Grammarly blog, on scarves.)

3. From bright checkered prints to vibrant colour block styles, this season’s scarves feel modern and exciting. (PopSugar)

Scarfs go on sale at the end of winter.

4. There is quite a difference between the light, elegant scarfs of summer and the warm comfortable winter ones. (News 24, “Scarfs are not only for winter”)

Synonyms for scarf

  • bandanna
  • shawl
  • tie
  • kerchief
  • neckwear
  • cover-up
  • wrapping
  • overlay
  • ascot (has anyone heard of this? A question submitted by a #gflexer.)
  • stole (this was a new one for team #gflex)

Origin of scarf

Etymonline on the etymology of scarf:

Probably from Old North French escarpe “sash, sling,” which probably is identical with Old French escherpe “pilgrim’s purse suspended from the neck,” perhaps from Frankish *skirpja or some other Germanic source (compare Old Norse skreppa “small bag, wallet, satchel”).


What’re personal pronouns?

What’s the difference between they’re, their, and there?

Whose vs who’s?


  1. scarf.
  2. Etymology of scarf.
  3. Pop Sugar, “12 Cools ways to wear your scarf”
  4. Grammarly blog, scarves.
  5. Ways to Wear a Scarf, Nathan Kong website.
  6. I-mutation/I-umlaut.
  7. Synonyms for scarf.

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