ethical dative

noun

: a colloquial use of the dative of a pronoun for a person to whom it imputes a vague concern with the matter in question (such as German mir, literally "for me," in bleibe mir nur gesund, "I just hope you stay well")

Word History

First Known Use

1849, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ethical dative was in 1849

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Cite this Entry

“Ethical dative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethical%20dative. Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

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