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I have occasionally heard and read instances, where a person has referred to themselves as これ. My Japanese dictionary also lists "Me, I." as a definition of これ.

Now, this obviously isn't used as frequently as 私, 僕, etc., so it makes me wonder: When can it be used to refer to one's self? and Does it have any extra or particular meaning as such?

Thanks! :)

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wwwjdic lists the use of これ to mean "I/myself" as archaic. I don't think I have ever heard or seen it used in that way. Are you sure you are not thinking of こちら (which is a fairly common and conveniently neutral way to refer to yourself when talking to a stranger)? – Dave Jun 11 '11 at 18:37
I've seen この俺 a few times, I wonder if it's related. – sartak Jun 11 '11 at 22:43
up vote 9 down vote accepted

To add a little bit more to what YOU said in his answer: in some Classical Japanese texts これ was indeed used as a first (and also second) person pronoun. It's not the most common first person pronoun in Classical Japanese (that would probably be われ), but it's a possible use, so maybe that's where your dictionary got that from.

The quote from 枕草子 (The Pillow Book) YOU referred to is probably the one which shows up in Daijirin:


Don't ask me to translate that though. :)

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Heh, almost every lines in that Pillow Book can be separate question to ask :D – YOU Jun 11 '11 at 19:05
Yeah. This one can probably feed three or four separate questions though. :( – Boaz Yaniv Jun 11 '11 at 19:07

I think that would be おれ 「俺」, and actually most frequently used first person pronoun for males in Japan currently when speaking.

The one you found in dictionary might be from まくらそうし「枕草子」 at Middle Heian-Era (around 1000 Years ago) but I don't think that one is in used recently.

or これ or こら has another meaning like "Hey"

これ,静かにしろ  Hey, be quiet!

Note: これ has some sense like "Listen", "I say", but こら is stronger on expression about angriness, scolding.


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I think you wanted to say: most frequently used for males. :) – Boaz Yaniv Jun 11 '11 at 18:28
@Boaz, heh, thanks. – YOU Jun 11 '11 at 18:28
@YOU: no problems. I wasn't sure enough what you meant to edit myself. – Boaz Yaniv Jun 11 '11 at 18:42
"I, me" is indeed listed among the definitions of これ, so I don't think the poster was confusing it with おれ at all. – Amanda S Jun 11 '11 at 18:50
I think you are mixing up これ and こら in your example. – Amanda S Jun 12 '11 at 5:18

You can use こちら (the humble form of ここ) to refer to yourself (and your in-group). It's not exactly これ but it's close. I would say this is most often heard in the phrase こちらこそ, used after someone thanks you to say something along the lines of, "The pleasure was all mine." See definition #3, given as synonymous with 自分(たち). I tend to use it in situations that are somewhere between casual and formal, like talking with a 先生 or someone older I don't know very well.

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And more informally, こっち. I (and plenty of my Japanese friends) use it all the time. – istrasci Jun 14 '11 at 3:57
Oh yeah totally. I was thinking about it, and I think that こちら can be a replacement for これ in certain contexts, like こちらのほうがいい == これがいい to say, "This one is better." – siena Jun 14 '11 at 20:49
こちら is the humble form of ここ ? – Pacerier Jun 18 '11 at 14:01

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