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From Middle English -s, -es, from Old English -as, nominative-accusative plural ending of masculine a-stem (i.e. strong) declension nouns, from Proto-Germanic *-ōs, *ōz, from Proto-Indo-European *-es, *-oes (plural endings). The spread of this ending in later Middle English was once argued to have been the result of Anglo-Norman influence; however, -as was already the most common Old English plural marker (used in approximately 40% of Old English nouns), and was initially more common in the North of England where French influence was weakest, only later gradually spreading south. Cognate with Scots -s (plural ending), Saterland Frisian -s (plural ending), West Frisian -s (plural ending), Dutch -s (plural ending), Low German -s (plural ending), Danish -er (plural ending), Swedish -r, -ar, -or (plural ending), Icelandic -ar (plural ending), Gothic -𐍉𐍃 (-ōs, nominative plural ending of a-stem masculine nouns) (note that German -er has a different origin).


Unknown. Not present in Old Dutch, which used -a from Proto-Germanic *-ōz as the plural ending. Possibly spread from Middle Low German -s, -es, from Old Saxon -os, -as, from Proto-Germanic *-ōs. Further etymology is unknown, but cognate with Old English -as.



From Proto-Finnic *-nci, from Proto-Uralic *-mte.


From Middle French -s, from Old French -s, from Latin -s (accusative).


From Middle High German -es, from Old High German [Term?].


Northern Sami

From Proto-Samic *-s.

Old English

From Proto-Germanic *-isjō, *-usjō.