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It seems trendy to use a reflexive-like construction with love or hate plus some, like this:

  • You know I love me some cheese!

  • I hate me some cold and the temperature is dropping.

Where did this come from and why has it become popular?

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2  
I've also heard "I'm gonna get me some" or "I'm gonna take me some" used. –  Kristina Lopez Nov 30 '12 at 17:52
    
possible duplicate of What's wrong with "I'll open you the door"? –  FumbleFingers Nov 30 '12 at 19:00
    
@FumbleFingers I don't think this is a dupe of the linked question at all. This Q relates to a particular construction whereas the linked Q is about something else entirely. They do both deal with personal pronouns, but they're not the same question. –  Caleb Dec 1 '12 at 2:51
    
I wonder whether it is not also related to the so-called ethic dative, of which the OED says, s.v. me, pron., 1d: "Used expletively in passages of a narrative character." Example (from Swift): "Then whips me on a Chain of Brass." –  Colin Fine Dec 2 '12 at 11:55

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

To give it a name, the construction is called the "Personal Dative" and is loosely attributed to African American Vernacular English and some other Southern white dialects. The construction, as in your example, works with a typically non-reflexive verb (popular verbs in these dialects are simple: get, find, have, use, take, love, buy, shoot, and kill, which is kilt in the past tense) and a subject pronoun. PDs in 1st person singular are most common, and PDs in 2nd person are more common than 3rd person.

1st Person:

I had me a man in summertime/He had summer-colored skin (Joni Mitchell, “Urge for Going”)

2nd Person:

Get you a copper kettle, O get you a copper coil, Cover with new-made corn mash and never more you’ll toil. You just lay there by the junipers, when the moon is bright, Watch them jugs a-fillin’ in the pale moonlight. (“Copper Kettle”, traditional ballad)

3rd Person:

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee, The greenest state in the land of the free, Raised in the woods so’s he knew every tree, Kilt him a b’ar when he was only three. (“Ballad of Davy Crockett”; cf. M. Lewis 2002)

There is debate over whether the PD is an indirect object, as it appears in an example like:

I caught me some fish.

Or, if it is a pronoun, as it appears in this example with a true indirect object:

I caught me some fish for my family.

Other things worth noting about this dialectical usage of the PD are:

1.) There is no passive construction. "Some fish were caught (to) me."

2.) PDs cannot be split apart from the verb that marks them. "I caught some fish, me."

3.) They are always unstressed. "I CAUGHT me some fish" and not "I caught ME some fish."

4.) Deciding on the pronomial status of the PD has become more difficult with the evolution of the newly-popularized X's-ass construction. [Bear with me] "I have a 152 IQ and I love my ass some red meat." This X's ass construction apparently does not show up in 3rd person constructions and rarely in 2nd person.

Dating it is extremely difficult, as Robusto mentions, and many of the earliest references are traditional ballads and folk songs.

For a thorough discussion on the topic, check out this link.

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Great answer -- thanks so much! –  Caleb Dec 1 '12 at 2:40
    
Re your #3, I don't see why it shouldn't be stressed in, for example, "so I got ME a drink too". Which occurs in that link at some point after I had fresh water to drink any time I wanted to get me a drink (proof that the writer uses this form quite naturally). –  FumbleFingers Dec 1 '12 at 3:02
    
In the more "down home," simple constructions the idea is that the PD doesn't receive stress. As the construction becomes more complex, this varies. "He bought him and Tony some steaks." Some stress on "him", but if "and Tony" is removed, perhaps not. –  tylerharms Dec 1 '12 at 9:23

This is probably rural- or African-American speech that parallels other constructions like get me some X and drink me some X and so on.

The usage has been around for a while. Here is an example from 1971:

Yeah, chile, I love me some poke chops.

(The poke chops in question are obviously pork chops, but that is more evidence that this is rural or African-American speech.)

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3  
Seems to make more sense with get; nobody would question I'm going to get myself some dinner, and it's easy to see me being substituted for myself. –  Caleb Nov 30 '12 at 17:58
    
Cat Stevens (a Brit) wrote "I'm Gonna Get Me A Gun" in 1967, and Fielding's The Virgin Unmasked has "I'll get me a Husband" in C18, so I don't think the form is particularly young, American, or black. –  FumbleFingers Nov 30 '12 at 23:05
    
...but here's Texas governor Fritz G. Lanham (who graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in 1900, so he's no cotton-pickin' hick), with the immortal lines Very well," said Hephaestus, who beamed with delight, " I will drink me some coffee and sit up tonight. And will finish the suit by the first streak of light. Doggerel maybe, but presumably Lanham didn't think it was "African-American". –  FumbleFingers Dec 1 '12 at 3:31
    
@FumbleFingers: I didn't say it was young. Read again. Also, who says you can't graduate from the University of Texas and be a hick. The President of the United States from 2001-2009 was a hick, and he had degrees from Harvard and Yale. –  Robusto Dec 1 '12 at 4:04
    
Perhaps. But there's no doubt the basic "superfluously reflexive" form has been around a long time with verbs like get, have, eat, drink, watch, take, etc. And although love, for example, sounds like a "tolerable" stretch (maybe associated with Texans/blacks/hicks/whatever) I have the distinct feeling all instances of hate me some xxx are just a modern facetious Internet-enabled viral meme. –  FumbleFingers Dec 1 '12 at 13:58

I can't reproduce the image, but this link is titled I Hate Memes - yo i hate me some memes.

The tagline for that site is "Create and share memes instantly with our quick meme generator", so I'm putting that up as a possible "source".

Seriously, I think looking for the "original" with things like this is a bit like asking "where do jokes come from?"

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protected by RegDwigнt Aug 26 '13 at 23:10

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