Posted by Lotg (OZ) on August 04, 2004
Here's another one from my Swedish friend and this time I'll just cut & paste her email and my reply:
How about the very aussie expression "give us a call" or "give us a
minute" or "us" whatever, when you really mean yourself? what's the story
there? I was quite confused in the beginning and still sometimes forget
myself and get confused
Gee it's funny what you pick up. And it's even funnier what we live with, without thinking about it. Ummm... OK, ya got me there. I say it too, and I've never really thought about it. It probably originated with someone really meaning 'us' as in a group of people, then lazily (as is sooooo Australian), it just became a habit and anyone said it, even if it was only an individual. I dunno. Just my theory. I'll put that to the Phrase Finders, although if it's Aussie, there aren't too many of us on the site, so they might not know the answer.
On the other hand, many of our 'Aussie' sayings are really derived from our working class Anglo Saxon origins many moons ago, so it might really be English originally. I'll ask anyway.
So that was her question, that was my reply. Can anyone shed any light as to why we say 'us' when we really mean 'me'???