I saw a passage "this doesn't mean to get riches and honors." 'rich' is an adjective but 'riches' is a plural noun according to the dictionary. Are there any other examples where an adjective becomes a noun by adding suffix '-s' or '-es'? or 'riches' is the only case?

  • 1
    "riches" is kind of a special case. It was not actually related originally to the plural "-(e)s" suffix of English; it comes from the French word richesse, which has the same suffix historically as fortress. I don't know of any other word with a similar history.
    – herisson
    Nov 27, 2015 at 7:10

3 Answers 3


The only ones I can think of are "green" (the color) and "greens" (meaning vegetables), "red" and "reds" (communists) and "blue" and "blues" (feeling sad).

  • 1
    fast => fasts, good => goods, hopeful => hopefuls, objective => objectives, though these all can be singular. Nov 27, 2015 at 2:56
  • @MattSamuel nice!
    – Peter K.
    Nov 27, 2015 at 2:57

In fact, yes; good point. You can turn many adjectives into pluralized nouns:

The yellows (the team in yellow t-shirts)
The dispassionates (phlegmatic people)
Your smarts (your know-how)
Hello, my pretties (a pimp's greeting, I suppose)
Put your briefs in the hamper (underpants)
The indolents (the rentier class)

Some you have to do additional work on:

Fasties, wiseguys, etc.

  • Can you provide a link to the usage of "indolents" that supports your meaning? I couldn't find one --Comrade Timofeev Nov 27, 2015 at 6:58
  • @michael_timofeev: Link, what link. I just made it up. I pictured a 1950's electrician servicing apartments on 5th Avenue and wondered what he might call the people constituting the rentier class (currently in hiding - well, at least characters based on them no longer crop up in mass culture), and voila! Word coinage is not against the law. Anyone can do it. When a newly coined word is picked up by a sufficient number of people, links will appear. "Contrapuntal" and "motherfucker", too, were brand-new at some point. My favorite is "metal fatigue," because it means exactly nothing.
    – Ricky
    Nov 27, 2015 at 7:26
  • Ok, cool. The bureau was just checking how others use it because It couldn't find it in any dictionaries. Carry on, Comrade Ricky. Nov 27, 2015 at 7:31
  • @michael_timofeev: Jawohl, mein Kommandant.
    – Ricky
    Nov 27, 2015 at 7:36


Hillary Clinton quite famously ⁠— or infamously, depending on your political bent ⁠— did so during her run for the office of President of the United States in 2016 when she said:

"You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call 'the basket of deplorables.' "

In the above, she used the adjective "deplorable" as a noun for a deplorable person and then pluralized it. Note that pluralizing it with an "-s" is not required. She might just as readily have called such a supporter a "deplorable," but then plurality isn't innate to the meaning being conveyed like it is with "riches."

Incidentally, using "deplorables" and using "riches" (were "riches" not already a plural noun that means the pluralous treasures and caches of money, hence "riches" being plural, associated with wealth - see def. 3 of 3) are examples of a type of rhetorical device called a "metonymy," meaning not only can you do that, but there's even a word for it.

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