themselfs / themselve

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Wed Apr 29 11:34:29 UTC 2009

On Apr 28, 2009, at 7:57 PM, Larry Horn wrote:

> At 10:33 PM -0400 4/28/09, Mark Mandel wrote:
>> "to themselfs"??!
> Well, there's "themselves" as the reflexive for third person specific
> plural "they", there's "themself" for third person singular "they",
> and apparently there's "themselfs" for third person general plural
> "they", which is sort of in between.  Or not.

from my files:


heard one instance on the radio.  then googled:

7/28/07: 340,000 raw webhits, e.g.

Answer "How do vampire bats protect themselfs?" If you can't offer a
complete answer it's still helpful to get things started and point
people in the ...

Or could someone make another forum just so people can advertise
themselfs and people who are trying to find work can do it easier. ...

These crazy guys are going to kill themselfs one day... Posted by:
Travis Whidden

Who has ever tried to "please themselfs oraly?" P101: Boys Puberty

Why do people post old pictures of themselfs in their profile

anyone else finding themselfs in the habit of spelling "the" "teh"
outside of OJ? Open Jam.


>  And the beauty part is
> that still leaves "themselve" for future use.

that day is already here.  from my files:


From: zwicky at
Subject: Fwd: Floor Plan Review - Facilities Operations, Maps and
Date: June 1, 2007 2:56:15 PM PDT
To: joelcw at

note "themselve" in the forwarded message.

Begin forwarded message:

From: Nikhila Pai <nikhila.pai at>
Date: June 1, 2007 8:37:46 AM PDT
To: ling-dept at
Subject: Fwd: Floor Plan Review - Facilities Operations, Maps and

FYI--Strangers looking official will be roaming out halls next week.

  >Dear Building Managers and Space Coordinators,

Maps and Records will be conducting building walk throughs in the
following buildings next week (06/04-06/08) to verify the room numbers
on our floor plans are accurate.  In addition, we will be ensuring the
unassignable spaces (e.g., closets, restrooms) are properly coded in
the iSpace database (the University's Space Management Database).

Room numbers from our floor plans are used in various University
applications so it is important for us to conduct these site reviews

During this review, you may see a person walking through the hallways
checking room numbers, etc.  This person will be wearing a name tag
identifying themselve.  ...
Dobie Howard, FAMIS FSM and iSpace Administrator
Stanford University, Maps and Records<

[AMZ  7/1/07]

at first i thought it was just a typo.  but it's easy to google up
more, many more, e.g.:

Americans contradict themselve. ... Americans contradict themselve.
Americans have a tendency to contradict ourselves frequently in our
daily lives.

Why do atheists call themselve atheists? Atheists must be one of very
few groups who define their position not by what they believe in but
what they don’t ...

Those of the extrovert tend to turn to interests outside themselve.
Most people are not either one or the other. They are in between. ...

The Double-Security Mitts are restraint mitts designed to prevent
individuals with cognitive or emotional disabilities from injuring
themselve or removing ...

Why do men have such a problem expressing themselve? Relationships,
Dating, Mars & Venus.

A free press is now not so free when it comes to free access to the
legislative process now that certain state officials have taken it
upon themselve to ...


The American Dialect Society -

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