a native English suffix used in the formation of adverbs: always; betimes; needs; unawares. Cf. -ways.[ME -es, OE; ult. identical with 'S1]-s2an 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 -ETH1]-s3an 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 -s3 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 -s3 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]-s4a suffix of hypocoristic nouns, generally proper names or forms used only in address: Babs; Fats; Suzykins; Sweetums; Toodles.
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