What is the plural form of Mercedes

The Mercedes / the Mercedizes? Plural of car names


[…] The very last question, which Canoo unfortunately could not answer either, is the question of whether the plural of Mercedes in the following example sentence is correct:

They parked their Mercedizes to have a barbecue in the neighboring amusement park.


Dear Mr. D.,

Mercedizes Although it sounds extremely scientific and educated, it cannot be explained by historical or modern inflection of words.

The car name Mercedes goes back to Mercédès Jellinek, the daughter of businessman and car enthusiast Emil Jellinek. At the beginning of the last century, he had several cars built by Daimler and demanded that the models be named after his daughter's nickname Mercedes would be called. Let's go back even further: the name Mercedes is Spanish. It is the plural of merced, that among other things Grace, favor means. The Spanish word, on the other hand, goes to the Latin one merces, mercedis back. Etymologically, it is therefore a girl's name and, further back, a Spanish plural form. There is therefore no justification for a plural form here -izes. In German, this plural form actually only occurs with foreign words that have a plural in Latin -ices to have.

Back to modernity: In modern usage, plural forms of car names are often formed with -s: Audis, BMWs, Smarts, Peugeots, Toyotas, Alfa Romeos etc. Others are endless: the Chrysler, the Rover, the Opel. The latter is probably the case because masculine words with unstressed -el and -er in German usually have an endless plural (cf. the bakers, the computers, the donkeys). And at Mercedes will - probably based on Busses, ibises, atlases etc. - often the plural form Mercedesse used. I also consider this form to be the best, as it fits seamlessly and effortlessly into the German language system. In my opinion, less beautiful but also quite common is the pale, risk-averse plural variant without an ending: the Mercedes.

With best regards

Dr. Bopp

Author Dr. BoppPosted on Categories General, Conjugation / DeclinationTags Declination, proper names, plural