From Middle English myself, meself, me-self, me sylf, from Old English mē self, mē seolf (“myself”), equivalent to me (pronoun) + self (pronoun), later partly reinterpreted as my + self (noun), my + -self. Compare Scots mysel, mysell (“myself”), West Frisian mysels (“myself”), Dutch mijzelf (“myself”), German mich selbst, mir selbst (“myself”), Norwegian Bokmål meg selv (“myself”).
myself (reflexive case of I)
- (reflexive) Me, as direct or indirect object the speaker as the object of a verb or preposition, when the speaker is also the subject. [from 9th c.]
- I taught myself.
- Personally, for my part; used in apposition to I, sometimes for simple emphasis and sometimes with implicit exclusion of any others performing the activity described. [from 10th c.]
- In my normal state of body or mind.
- Me (as the object of a verb or preposition). [from 10th c.]
- I feel like myself.
- (archaic) I (as the subject of a verb). [from 14th c.]
- 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 8, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes […], book II, London: […] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821:
- And my selfe have knowen a Gentleman, a chiefe officer of our crowne, that by right and hope of succession (had he lived unto it) was to inherit above fifty thousand crownes a yeere good land […].
- 1653, Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physician Enlarged:
- Myself am confident that an ointment of it is one of the best remedies for a scabby head that is.
- (India, Pakistan, nonstandard) my name is...
- Myself John.
- Use where I could be used is mostly poetic or archaic, except with a coordinating conjunction, such as and.
- Garner's Modern American Usage (2009) reports opposition to the intensifier use, especially where I could be used.
- AP Stylebook Online (2010) reports opposition to the intensifier use as reflexive pronouns (like myself) should not be used instead of objective pronouns (like me).
- (reflexive pronoun): me