There are many ideas in this book which are, to the best of my knowledge, original with me.

A favorite technique, original with him, he called "word-count."

I do not know whether this would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and was original with him or not.

All examples are from the internet. There is a similar discussion on WordReference.com

Since Merriam-Webster doesn't mention this type of use, I'd like to ask about it here. The meaning, as I get it, credits the item/knowledge to a certain owner/producer ("me," "him" in the example).

However, I'm curious if this structure is widely accepted or is regional. Most sources where I've seen this phrase are AmE. Is it slang or a new norm?

  • 1
    I agree with the poster on Wordreference who said that they found 'original to me' more natural. Jan 11 at 10:16
  • @KateBunting I suspect this phrase is a deviation from "originate with," the verb form. Doesn't "original to" mean that someone finds something original to him or her and isn't actually the originator of the idea/product?
    – Diane Mik
    Jan 11 at 10:21
  • 1
    It can do, but the poster said that they would use 'to me' in that context. Google Ngrams finds examples with both meanings, including Was the desire to be younger manufactured by the commercial, or was it “original to me” and truly mine? Jan 11 at 10:29
  • 1
    I'm American and "original to me" still sounds more natural to me.
    – stangdon
    Jan 11 at 15:55


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