Entries linking to someone
Middle English som, "someone, somebody, a certain person; a certain indefinite portion of something, some part," from Old English sum "some, a, a certain one, something, a certain quantity; a certain indefinite number" (as in some say). This is from Proto-Germanic *sumaz (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Old High German sum, Old Norse sumr, Gothic sums), from a suffixed form of PIE root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with."
The word has had greater currency in English than in the other Teutonic languages, in some of which it is now restricted to dialect use, or represented only by derivatives or compounds .... [OED]
For substitution of -o- for -u-, see come. As a pronoun from c. 1100, "a certain quantity or number." A possessive form is attested from 1560s but remains rare. Use as a quasi-adverb before numerals began in Old English, originally "out of" (as in sum feowra "one of four").
The sense of "in some degree, to some extent" is American English, by 1745. The meaning "remarkable, quite a" is attested from 1808, American English colloquial.
Many combination forms (somewhat, sometime, somewhere) were in Middle English but often written as two words before 17-19c. Somewhen is rare and since 19c. used almost exclusively in combination with the more common compounds; somewho "someone" is attested from late 14c. but did not endure. Somewhy appeared occasionally in 19c. Scott (1816) has somegate "somewhere, in some way, somehow," and somekins or somskinnes "some kind of a" is recorded from c. 1200.
Get some "have sexual intercourse" is attested 1899 in an anecdote of Abe Lincoln from c. 1840.
"being but a single unit or individual; being a single person, thing, etc. of the class mentioned;" as a pronoun, "a single person or thing, an individual, somebody;" as a noun, "the first or lowest of the cardinal numerals; single in kind, the same; the first whole number, consisting of a single unit; unity; the symbol representing one or unity;" c. 1200, from Old English an (adjective, pronoun, noun) "one," from Proto-Germanic *ainaz (source also of Old Norse einn, Danish een, Old Frisian an, Dutch een, German ein, Gothic ains), from PIE root *oi-no- "one, unique."
Originally pronounced as it still is in only, atone, alone, and in dialectal good 'un, young 'un, etc.; the now-standard pronunciation "wun" began c. 14c. in southwest and west England (Tyndale, a Gloucester man, spells it won in his Bible translation), and it began to be general 18c. Its use as indefinite pronoun was influenced by unrelated French on and Latin homo.
Before the name of a person, indicating "hitherto unknown" or not known to the speaker.
One and only "sweetheart" is from 1906. Slang one-arm bandit for a type of slot machine is recorded by 1938. One-night stand is 1880 in performance sense; 1963 in sexual sense. One of the boys "ordinary amiable fellow" is from 1893. One-track mind "mind capable of only one line of thought or action" is by 1915. Drinking expression one for the road is from 1950 (as a song title). One-man band is by 1909 in a literal sense, 1914 figurative. One of those things "unpredictable occurrence" is from 1934 (Cole Porter's song is from 1935).
The conscience clause is one of the weaknesses of the Bill. It is one of those things which tend to create the bitterness. The conscience clause is one of those things which are inseparable from a Bill like this. It is one of those things which divides the sheep from the goats—members can pick them out for themselves—in the playground, in the school. ["Religious Exercises in School Bills," New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, Aug. 13, 1926]
updated on March 09, 2023