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Does "someone or other" have the exact same meaning that "someone"? I don't see a difference in these two sentences:

a) Someone or other broke that window.

b) Someone broke that window.

Why would one use "someone or other" instead?

PS I guess the same question is valid for "somehow or other" and "somewhere or other".

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  • I don't recall ever haring the phrase "someone or other". Using "something or other" when referring to things is common. Aug 5, 2023 at 22:01
  • @JohnGordon, "However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of someone or other of their daughters." - Pride and Prejudice
    – m26a
    Aug 6, 2023 at 15:48

1 Answer 1

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"...someone or other" is very close to "someone", but is only used when you want to emphasize the fact that you don't know who is referred to, or that you are indifferent to who is referred to.

You could say:

"Someone or other broke the lock off the fence gate!"

or

"Stanley just quit, but we'll find someone or other to replace him."

But we would not say:

"Someone or other broke the lock off the fence gate, and I know who it was!"

or

"Someone or other needs to replace Stanley, and I am that someone or other!"

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