whom (pron.)

objective case of who, Old English hwam (Proto-Germanic *hwam), dative form of hwa (from PIE root *kwo-, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns). Ungrammatical use of who for whom is attested from c. 1300.

The clerk snapped at Degarmo's back like a terrier.
"One moment, please. Whom did you wish to see?"
Degarmo spun on his heel and looked at me wonderingly. "Did he say 'whom'?"
"Yeah, but don't hit him," I said. "There is such a word."
Degarmo licked his lips. "I knew there was," he said. "I often wondered where they kept it."
[Raymond Chandler, "The Lady in the Lake," 1943.]

updated on January 17, 2023