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Himself vs hisself

Himself is a pronoun that is used to reference a male (either human or animal) that has previously been mentioned in the text. It is reflexive. Sometimes it is used to reference the person’s self, or his being.

Hisself is listed as a dialectal variation for himself. While it is an official word, most would deem it grammatically incorrect. And so it is rarely used in formal writing.


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Hisself actually comes from how words were formed in Old English. The reflexive was made by adding self to his, as in belonging to the male. Himself comes from the pronoun set which meant that something concerned him (i.e., the male).

Over time, English speakers took the path of least resistance and combined the forms to the more popular choice. In some regions, such as the Southern United States, hisself saw more popularity.

Side note: This change is not seen in the pronoun herself because the two forms were identical, which led to the change of hisself in the first place.

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Comments

  1. Ooops. Typo. “how words were form(ed)”. Good and informative blog.

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