- These are interchangeable indefinite terms of address, used by a speaker who wishes one of the persons to whom he is speaking to identify himself with it. Examples will make that statement clearer.In Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, by Alan Sillitoe, we find: ‘“What did I say?” he pleaded. “Tell me, somebody, what did I say?”’ In Within and Without, by John Harvey, someone says: ‘I’m going to tell her what my mother thinks of her.’ ‘Stop him, somebody,’ says another person present. In the same book occurs: ‘“Am I drunk?” I asked suddenly. “I fear I am. Pray pay no attention to what I am saying.” “Go and dance with him, someone, and sober him up,” said Jim.’ In this last example the context enables the males who are present to know that they are not included in the ‘someone’, though the word itself carries no sexual marker. The exclusion of certain hearers can be achieved in other ways.In the following example the use of ‘else’ excludes Chadwick: ‘“Come on, shove these on - you, Chadwick.” Kong threw a pair of boxing gloves at Big Joe, who started pulling them on with a savage, gloating light in his eye. “Here, somebody else-”’ (The Taste of Too Much, Clifford Hanley).‘One of you’ could normally be substituted for ‘somebody’ or ‘someone’ when used alone, though not in this example of ‘somebody’, used in Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens: ‘The door must be opened. Do you hear, somebody?’ Mr Giles, as he spoke, looked at Brittles, but that young man, being naturally modest, probably considered himself nobody, and so held that the inquiry could not have any application to him.
A dictionary of epithets and terms of address . Leslie Dunkling . 2015.