Gyro vs Gyros: Which One Do You Say?

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Last week I admitted to unfairly ignoring gyros in Chicago. I just assumed that anything sliced off that preformed mass of meat would suck. But that's not the case—not at all. As I found at Beef & Burger, if probably made, the gyro sandwich is something that Chicago can actually be proud of calling its own. I was expecting some commenters to scold me for neglecting the sliced meat and pita combo for so long. Instead, I got an interesting comment from grumblekitty, which chided me using the term "gyro" instead of "gyros." I had assumed that gyro was the singular form of gyros. But the commenter claimed that thinking was wrong:

Even singular, it's still gyros. Look at the sign you posted! It's right there! "_A_ Kronos Gyros". I know the girl is pretty and distracting...

The commenter was right. Though Kronos refers to the products as "GyroKones" with no "s", the term "gyros" is almost always used on the website. (I did find a reference to "Free Gyro Day," but it seemed like a mistake.) And to be fair, those Kronos models are distracting.

Not happy with just trolling around on the website, I called the corporate headquarters of Kronos and talked to a very nice person who explained that "gyros" always had an "s." Problem solved, right?

But how had I originally made the mistake? A quick check on Wikipedia seemed to further prove the supremacy of "gyros," as the first thing that came up when I searched for "gyro" was that it was an "abbreviation for gyroscope, an orientation-stabilizing device." You can't eat those. But as I kept digging, I found gyro to be used far more often to describe the sandwich than gyros. And on Dictionary.com, gyro is listed as the singular form of gyros.

Figuring that online sources were just as confused as I was, I reached for my copy of the Food Lover's Companion, and on page 318, right after the entry for "gyoza," I found "gyro" with no "s" in sight.

Now I'm more confused than ever. What do you think? Do you always refer to it as gyros, even if you are just getting one? Let me know. In the meantime, at least I can feel good that I'm pronouncing gyros as "YEE-rohs." That, I believe, is something we can all agree on.