third person singular present indicative suffix of verbs, it represents Old English -es, -as, which began to replace -eð in Northumbrian 10c., and gradually spread south until by Shakespeare's time it had emerged from colloquialism and -eth began to be limited to more dignified speeches.
suffix forming the genitive or possessive singular case of most Modern English nouns; its use gradually was extended in Middle English from Old English -es, the most common genitive inflection of masculine and neuter nouns (such as dæg "day," genitive dæges "day's"). The "-es" pronunciation is retained after a sibilant.
Old English also had genitives in -e, -re, -an, as well as "mutation-genitives" (boc "book," plural bec), and the -es form never was used in plural (where -a, -ra, -na prevailed), thus avoiding the verbal ambiguity of words like kings'.
In Middle English, both the possessive singular and the common plural forms were regularly spelled es, and when the e was dropped in pronunciation and from the written word, the habit grew up of writing an apostrophe in place of the lost e in the possessive singular to distinguish it from the plural. Later the apostrophe, which had come to be looked upon as the sign of the possessive, was carried over into the plural, but was written after the s to differentiate that form from the possessive singular. By a process of popular interpretation, the 's was supposed to be a contraction for his, and in some cases the his was actually "restored." [Samuel C. Earle, et al, "Sentences and their Elements," New York: Macmillan, 1911]
As a suffix forming some adverbs, it represents the genitive singular ending of Old English masculine and neuter nouns and some adjectives.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to sow."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin serere "to sow;" Old Church Slavonic sejo, sejati; Lithuanian sju, sti "to sow;" Old English sawan "to sow;" Old Prussian semen "seed," Lithuanian smenys "seed of flax," Old Church Slavonic seme, Old High German samo, German Same;Old English sed, sd "that which may be sown; an individual grain of seed."
suffix forming almost all Modern English plural forms of nouns, gradually extended in Middle English as -es from Old English -as, the nominative plural and accusative plural ending of certain "strong" masculine nouns (such as dæg "day," nominative/accusative plural dagas "days"). The commonest Germanic declension, traceable back to the original PIE inflection system, it is also the source of the Dutch -s plurals and (by rhotacism) Scandinavian -r plurals (such as Swedish dagar).
Much more uniform today than originally; Old English also had a numerous category of "weak" nouns that formed their plurals in -an, and other strong nouns that formed plurals with -u. Quirk and Wrenn, in their Old English grammar, estimate that 45 percent of the nouns a student will encounter will be masculine, nearly four-fifths of them with genitive singular -es and nominative/accusative plural in -as. Less than half, but still the largest chunk.
The triumphs of -'s possessives and -s plurals represent common patterns in language: using only a handful of suffixes to do many jobs (such as -ing), and the most common variant squeezing out the competition. To further muddy the waters, it's been extended in slang since 1936 to singulars (such as ducks,sweets,babes) as an affectionate or diminutive suffix.
Old English single-syllable collectives (sheep, folk) as well as weights, measures, and units of time did not use -s. The use of it in these cases began in Middle English, but the older custom is preserved in many traditional dialects (ten pound of butter; more than seven year ago; etc.).
*sā-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to satisfy."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit a-sinvan "insatiable;" Greek hadros "thick, bulky;" Latin satis "enough, sufficient;" Old Church Slavonic sytu, Lithuanian sotus "satiated;" Old Irish saith "satiety," sathach "sated;" Old English sæd "sated, full, having had one's fill, weary of."
river in western Germany, perhaps ultimately from PIE verbal stem *ser- "to run, flow" (see serum). Related: Saarland, Saarlander.
a genus of fan-palms of tropical Americas, 1763, said to be from a South American or Mexican name.
"armies, hosts," only in Scripture, "the heavenly hosts," used as part of a title of God (Lord of Sabaoth), early 14c., from Late Latin Sabaoth (pl.), from Greek Sabaoth, transliterating Hebrew tzebhaoth "hosts, armies," plural of tzabha "army," from tzaba "he waged war, he served."
The word was translated in English in the Old Testament by the phrase "Lord of Hosts," but left untranslated in the New Testament (and in the "Te Deum") in Lord of Sabaoth. It sometimes is confused with unrelated Sabbath.
also sabbaton, mid-14c., sabatoun, a type of armored foot-covering, in 15c. also the name of a shoe or half-shoe worn by persons of wealth, from Old French sabot "wooden shoe" made of one piece hollowed out by boring tools and scrapers, worn by the peasants (13c.), altered (by association with Old French bot "boot") from earlier savate "old shoe," ultimately from the same source (perhaps Persian ciabat) that also produced similar words in Old Provençal (sabato), Portuguese, Spanish (zapata), Italian (ciabatta), Arabic (sabbat), and Basque (zapata). French sabot has been borrowed directly into English from c. 1600.