I put my faith in you, good sir. Now, kindly see my man.

What's the meaning of see here? I guess it means something like "serve", doesn't it? I didn't find such an interpretation in my dictionary. Can I say something like:

I will not be at home this afternoon, please see my friends kindly(let my friends have a good afternoon).

Is the usage right?

  • 3
    You could instruct someone to see to (that is, attend or take care of) your friends. It would help a lot to know where the first sentence was found and possibly see what was written immediately before and after in that text. Jan 29, 2014 at 4:35

2 Answers 2


It is a (bit?) of an archaic use, you can think of it as a short form of

Now kindly see (to the needs of) my man.

The fact that your example uses "good sir" and "my man" (meaning "my man servant") are an indication that this line was not written recently, or that at least the story is playing in anything but recent years - it is quite archaic.

The meaning of "see" in this way is now - I think - only used in reference to doctors. (And even then it might be confused with "to see" as "to meet face to face"):

I asked the doctor when he could see me.

After lunch, the doctor announced he would see his next patient.

If you would nowadays tell me

I will not be at home this afternoon, please see my friends kindly.

I would interpret it as:

You may want to visit me, but I will not be at home this afternoon, please understand that and instead, go visit my friends.

If you are implying I should see to your friends needs and you would express that in such a way, I might actually be offended as it is a turn of phrase that would have been aimed at a servant. In your original example, even though the person spoken to is addressed as "good sir", the request to see my man servant cannot be addressed to anyone but another servant since I am instructing him to take care of my servant.


I think 'man' here means 'man of business'. In the late 1800s and early 1900s the English upper-classes did not do business-related work themselves, but had a 'man of business', possibly a lawyer/financial manager/'business man' to do it for them. (The 'good sir' in the passage makes me think of that time.) The passage sounds like the first person has put a business proposal to a member of the upper-classes, who says, basically, 'It sounds like a good idea. Please meet my 'business man' and discuss the details with him' - in the same way that he would now say 'see my solicitor/attorney. The only example I can find on the internet is from a discussion of the English TV show 'Downton Abbey', set in the 1910s.

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