Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 January 2010
In the first person, the use of me as a nonstandard form of my is doubtless the result of vowel reduction under low stress, with consequent confusion or merger of the vowels in the two words.
me My <Patrick, me boyo, we've had our break.> 1989 Quinton 37.
meself Myself: CIC has 7.8 iptmw in British texts, principally speech, but also written representations of speech, and only 0.5 in American texts. <I'd put meself in an old people's home just for the peace and quiet.> 1990 Critchfield (quoting TV's EastEnders) 83.
CGEL (6.18n) reports two uses of the first person plural that are British rather than American. (1) The “royal we” is said to be “virtually obsolete … traditionally used by a monarch, as in the following examples, both famous dicta by Queen Victoria: / We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. / We are not amused.” (2) A nonstandard use of plural us for singular me is exemplified by “Lend us a fiver.” This use is also reported by Michael Swan (1995, 432): “In very informal British speech, us is quite often used instead of me (especially as an indirect object) / Giveusa kiss, love.” The contraction of us to 's in such constructions is an additional British feature. For the use of our with personal names, see § 2.3.3.
us Me <‘Give's a fag’ said one [small boy].> 1995 June 8 London Review of Books 8/4. <Auditions are this morning. Pack us a pickle sandwich. I'm off to London.> 2003 July 4 Times T2 2/2.
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