I've just found out when I've sent our machine safety labels for translation that the English word "Leaks" is translated as "Lecks" in German. How come this word is pluralized the same way as an English word?

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    "Leck" is originally a Dutch word (Dutch plural "lekken") that was imported into German, see woerterbuchnetz.de/DWB/…. Many foreign words get the "-s" plural in German. See de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plural#Der_s-Plural
    – user4973
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 7:52
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    Why not? Page 8, second bullet: personal.uni-jena.de/~x1gape/Wort/Wort_Nomen_Pluralform.pdf
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 7:57
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    Taken from Low German/Dutch a long time ago, though dwds.de/?qu=Leck
    – Carsten S
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 8:04
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    Wrack/Wracks and Dock/Docks and Hotel/Hotels is the same irregularity. So it probably even isn't something irregular ;)
    – tofro
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 8:32
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    @what I am not happy with the Wikipedia article - With the chosen examples, it creates the impression as if the -s Plural would exclusively be used with English loanwords and abbreviations.
    – tofro
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 10:16

1 Answer 1


Adding a plural-s is one of the wide variety of possible plural forms in German. It is a valid form and does not have much of a connection to the English plural-s (although there might be common roots).

Some more examples of substantives that use the "s"-plural form:

  • Wrack / Wracks
  • Dock / Docks
  • Deck / Decks

Those words seem to have a common root in Low German/Dutch with their English counterparts and have a marine background.

  • Hotel / Hotels
  • Reck / Recks (also: Recke)
  • Auto / Autos
  • Hobby / Hobbys
  • Opa / Opas
  • Mutti / Muttis
  • Junge / Jungs (also: Jungen)
  • Foto / Fotos
  • Sofa / Sofas
  • and many more...

Some of those (probably) have a common root with their English counterpart, some don't.


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