Last modified on 11 January 2015, at 20:24

'em

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From earlier hem, from Middle English hem, from Old English heom (them, dative) of hie, originally a dative plural form but in Middle English coming to serve as an accusative plural as well. Cognate with Dutch hun (them), German ihnen (them).

PronunciationEdit

PronounEdit

'em

  1. (now colloquial) Them (typically after a preposition, or otherwise with accusative or dative force; now only in unstressed position).
    • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book XVI, chapter j:
      Truly said sire Ector I can not here of hym nor of syr Galahad / Percyuale nor syr Bors / lete hem be sayd syre Gawayne / for they foure haue no pyeres
    • 1602, William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night:
      Some are become great, some atcheeues greatnesse, and some haue greatnesse thrust vppon em.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Then there came a reg'lar terror of a sou'wester same as you don't get one summer in a thousand, and blowed the shanty flat and ripped about half of the weir poles out of the sand. We spent consider'ble money getting ’em reset, and then a swordfish got into the pound and tore the nets all to slathers, right in the middle of the squiteague season.
    • 2010, John Baron, The Guardian, 3 December:
      We've literally had dozens of your photographs submitted this week – keep ’em coming!

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