Usage of "your goodself" and "your kindself" in place of simple "you" to refer to a high-ranking official



I have seen people using "your goodself" or "your kindself" in place of simple "you" to refer to a high-placed official. They use the expressions just the way the expression "your Honour" is used. Is it grammatical to use "your goodself" or "your kindself" in place of "you"?

Dinesh Kumar Garg

Posted 2015-11-28T16:55:01.850

Reputation: 408

What is considered grammatical or acceptable in Indian English does not always match the same for British or American English. However, I as an AmE speaker have never used that phrase. – None – 2015-11-29T10:43:15.500



I have checked Oxford Online Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, The Free, Online Etymology Dictionary, Collins Online Dictionary and even Wikipedia. Only good self is listed in Collins Online Dictionary meaning:

(rare) a polite way of referring to or addressing a person (or persons), used following your, his, her, or their

The below Ngram Viewer shows some trend. Your kind self has been very rarely used compared with your good self and your goodself. You don't see your kindself here.

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Posted 2015-11-28T16:55:01.850


Sir, your answer says "You don't see 'your kindself' here". Do you say 'your kindself' was not in vogue? Were only 'your kind self', 'your goodself' and 'your good self' in vogue? Please shed some light. – Dinesh Kumar Garg – 2015-12-10T03:07:31.160


Your good self and your kind self were friendly usages, not deferential. They were most frequent in the 18th century and largely died out by the early 20th century. As you may see from the Google Ngram below, neither was ever very common: your good self peaks at about one hit for every 1600 hits on the usual deferential form sir, and its rise is mostly to be attributed to decline in the use of sir.

good self v sir

If you follow up recent uses you will find that almost all the valid hits occur in reprints, historical novels, or works in the English of former colonies. I advise you to avoid these phrases in contemporary Anglo contexts, and stick to sir.

StoneyB on hiatus

Posted 2015-11-28T16:55:01.850

Reputation: 176 469