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I was reading a question in aviation.se and there were multiple planes. There were several planes with the designation of P-3 Orion, so it was worded Orions. There were several planes with the designation F-18 Hornet. So they were Hornets.

Then there were several planes with the designation C-130 Hercules. The author said there were several Herculess. But that looks wrong, and I couldn't figure out how to correct the following sentence: "Apple Maps showed some C-130 Herculess, F-18 Hornets, P-3 Orions, and a few other aircraft."

At first, I changed Herculess to Hercules, but the name IS "Hercules", so how do we say it in plural form?

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    This doesn’t really answer your question, but informally they are referred to as ‘hercs’ which simplifies pluralizing it.
    – ColleenV
    Jun 8, 2021 at 12:59
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    The plural of species is species, so I'd be tempted to leave Hercules similarly unchanged in the plural. Jun 8, 2021 at 13:17
  • In January 2017, the German defence minister announced the intention to purchase 3 C-130J and 3 KC-130J Hercules (Wikipedia) Jun 8, 2021 at 14:25

2 Answers 2

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I am not at all familiar with Greek, but this site says "Words ending in ές (es) turns into έδες (ethes)." So the plural would be "Herculethes"—but, being a proper name, it very well could be irregular.

In Latin, Hercules is third declension. The nominative plural is also "Hercules." This is what I would suggest as the most likely candidate.

It is also possible to take Hercules as a loanword and apply standard English pluralization: "s" or "es" depending on if the word ends in "s" or not. This would give "Herculeses" (which my spell check does not recognize).

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Well in answer to your question and I am no expert on the plural forms of Greek words. All I was able to find is this

Adding the Ending s/es to Nouns and Verbs The material below describes the rules of adding the ending s/es to the final consonants and vowels of nouns and verbs.

The ending s/es is added to nouns to form regular plural forms of nouns

Ref Useful English

Names: If names or family names end in s, z, x, ch, tch, sh, the ending ES is added to form the plural; the ending S is added to the final mute E after these letters and to ce, dge, ge. The ending s/es is pronounced [iz] in these cases.

For example: Morris – two Morrises; Max – three Maxes;

Therefore I would presume you have multiple C-130 Herculeses (Hercules-iz)

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