Nosism

Nosism

ˈnoʊˌsɪzəm

Noun

  • The use of a first-person plural pronoun (such as “we”) instead of a first-person singular pronoun (such as “I”) to refer to oneself.

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Example Sentences

“We could tell our AirBnB host was an interesting character from his use of nosism and the way he referred to the condo as ‘The Manor.'”

“These days, using ‘the royal we’ is so uncommon that anyone who lapses into nosism sounds affected.”

“When my son learned about nosism in a grammar lesson, he spent a month referring to himself as ‘we.'”

Word Origin

Latin, early 19th century

Why this word?

“Nosism” is the practice of using what is popularly called “the royal we,” or an individual person’s use of a plural pronoun to describe themselves. (This is also known as “majestic plural.”) The practice has been associated with the English monarchy since the 12th-century rule of Henry II, who used the pronoun “we” to signify that because he ruled by divine right, he represented both himself and God simultaneously. The word “nosism” was created by combining the Latin plural first-person pronoun “nōs” with the English suffix “-ism.”

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