a native English suffix used in the formation of adverbs: always; betimes; needs; unawares. Cf. -ways .
[ ME -es, OE; ult. identical with 'S 1 ]
an ending marking the third person sing. indicative active of verbs: walks.
[ ME (north) -( e ) s, OE (north); orig. ending of 2nd pers. sing., as in L and Gk; r. ME, OE -eth -ETH 1 ]
an ending marking nouns as plural ( boys; wolves ), occurring also on nouns that have no singular ( dregs; entrails; pants; scissors ), or on nouns that have a singular with a different meaning ( clothes; glasses; manners; thanks ). The pluralizing value of -s 3 is weakened or lost in a number of nouns that now often take singular agreement, as the names of games ( billiards; checkers; tiddlywinks ) and of diseases ( measles; mumps; pox; rickets ); the latter use has been extended to create informal names for a variety of involuntary conditions, physical or mental ( collywobbles; d.t.'s; giggles; hots; willies ).
A parallel set of formations, where -s 3 has no plural value, are adjectives denoting socially unacceptable or inconvenient states ( bananas; bonkers; crackers; nuts; preggers; starkers ); cf. -ers .
Also, -es .
[ ME - ( e ) s, OE -as, pl. nom. and acc. ending of some masculine nouns ]
a suffix of hypocoristic nouns, generally proper names or forms used only in address: Babs; Fats; Suzykins; Sweetums; Toodles.
[ prob. from the metonymic use of nouns formed with -S 3 , as boots or Goldilocks ]