15

I've heard that "me neither" is incorrect. Instead one should say "neither do I." People definitely say "me neither" conversationally, but is it technically incorrect?

  • Funny, though I'm American, I always say [naɪðɚ] except in this phrase, wherein I say [niːðɚ]. – Jon Purdy Oct 12 '10 at 17:15
  • 1
    Why do you think it might potentially be technically incorrect? Please give a reference for who you heard this from. – curiousdannii Nov 19 '14 at 5:12
17

Me neither is idiomatic English. It is a set phrase, as @cindi said. The OED has it as colloquial, originally USA, meaning nor I. Among the many examples from COHA:

  • "Hast thou a wife?" "No." "Me neither." (Hemingway)
  • "I don't understand, Queen," said the Prosecutor finally. "Me neither," groaned Dakin. (Ellery Queen)
  • "I don't want to ever get married," Rita said. "Me neither," Toad Tarkington agreed fervently." (Stephen Coonts)

The earliest citations, as far as I can tell, are often in the dialogue of characters who do not speak completely standard English, especially before ca. 1930. This pattern no longer seems to hold.

To this American English speaker, Me neither seems perfectly natural. Not formal, but not incorrect either.

  • 1
    As another American English speaker, if I heard someone use "neither do I" instead of "me neither", I would usually think that they were weird and uptight, I guess because they were being too formal and old-fashioned. – 40XUserNotFound Jul 5 '11 at 9:28
  • There is a Northern English version, Me either, which is mentioned somewhere by Quiller-Couch. I suspect, however, he was making gentle fun of dialect. – TimLymington Aug 20 '15 at 21:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.