The moment he received the approval, Montgomerie began to look for his first collaborator, whom he found in Mahomed-i-Hameed, better known by his code name, the ‘Moonshee’. (source)

Mahomed-i-Hameed appears to be the name of a person, not a place, and the antecedent noun of the pronoun "whom". Then why is in used before the name of a person? What does it mean to "look for a person in a person"? I thought you could only look for a quality/attribute in a person.


1 Answer 1


To find something in a person is an idiom in English.

  • He was searching the schools for a young, talented athlete and he found one in [name of person].

  • She found her true companion in [name of person].

  • 2
    Not just a person, also a thing. I was looking for the ideal car for my grandmother and I found it in the Nissan Leaf. Mary was looking for a suitable novel to read and found one in Great Expectations. Sep 4, 2018 at 17:44
  • Yes, but here the idiom is: to find something in someone. Sure, you can find something in something, too.
    – Lambie
    Sep 4, 2018 at 19:41
  • The basic form of the idiom is find desired thing in something. That something can be a person, a thing, a place, an idea, whatever. Sep 4, 2018 at 20:02
  • Suppose we say the idiom is to find something in someone or something. Then would everyone be happy?
    – David K
    Sep 4, 2018 at 20:07

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