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See also: Myself


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English myself, meself, me-self, me sylf, from Old English mē self, mē seolf (myself), equivalent to me (pronoun) + self (pronoun), later partly reinterpreted as my + self (noun). Compare Scots mysel, mysell (myself), West Frisian mysels (myself), Dutch mijzelf (myself), Norwegian Bokmål meg selv (myself).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /maɪˈsɛlf/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛlf
  • Hyphenation: my‧self


myself (reflexive case of I)

  1. (reflexive) Me, as direct or indirect object the speaker as the object of a verb or preposition, when the speaker is also the subject. [from 9th c.]
    I taught myself.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’ and if you don't look out there's likely to be some nice, lively dog taking an interest in your underpinning.”
  2. Personally, for my part; used in apposition to I, sometimes for simple emphasis and sometimes with implicit exclusion of any others performing the activity described. [from 10th c.]
  3. In my normal state of body or mind.
  4. Me (as the object of a verb or preposition). [from 10th c.]
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 36:
      Later I realized that the ignorant man that day was not the chief but myself.
    I feel like myself.
  5. (archaic) I (as the subject of a verb). [from 14th c.]
    • , II.8:
      And my selfe have knowen a Gentleman, a chiefe officer of our crowne, that by right and hope of succession (had he lived unto it) was to inherit above fifty thousand crownes a yeere good land [].
    • 1653, Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physician Enlarged:
      Myself am confident that an ointment of it is one of the best remedies for a scabby head that is.
  6. (India, Pakistan, nonstandard) my name is...
    Myself John.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Use where I could be used is mostly poetic or archaic, except with a coordinating conjunction, such as and.
  • Garner's Modern American Usage (2009) reports opposition to the intensifier use, especially where I could be used.
  • AP Stylebook Online (2010) reports opposition to the intensifier use as reflexive pronouns (like myself) should not be used instead of objective pronouns (like me).

Related terms[edit]


See also[edit]