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From Middle English sche, hye (she), from earlier scho, hyo, ȝho (she), a phonetic development of Old English hēo, hīo (she), from Proto-Germanic *hijō f (this, this one), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱe-, *ḱey- (this, here). Cognate with English dialectal hoo (she), Scots scho, shu (she), Saterland Frisian jo, ju (she), West Frisian hja (she), North Frisian (she), Danish hun (she), Swedish hon (she). More at he.

Despite the similarity in appearance, the Old English feminine demonstrative sēo (that) is probably not the source of Middle English forms in sch-. Rather, the sch- developed out of a change in stress upon hío resulting in hió, spelt ȝho (ȝh = , compare wh = hw, lh = hl, etc.), and the h was palatalised into the sh sound. Similar alteration can be seen the name Shetland, from Old Norse Hjaltland; ȝho is the immediate parent form of Middle English scho and sche.



she (third-person singular, feminine, nominative case, accusative and possessive her, possessive hers, reflexive herself)

  1. (personal) The female person or animal previously mentioned or implied.
    I asked Mary, but she said that she didn’t know.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. [], London: [] [John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book II, canto IX:
      Goodly she entertaind those noble knights, / And brought them vp into her castle hall []
    • 1917, Anton Chekhov, Constance Garnett, transl., The Darling and Other Stories[1], Project Gutenberg, published 9 September 2004, →ISBN, page 71:
      The mother, Ekaterina Pavlovna, who at one time had been handsome, but now, asthmatic, depressed, vague, and over-feeble for her years, tried to entertain me with conversation about painting. Having heard from her daughter that I might come to Shelkovka, she had hurriedly recalled two or three of my landscapes which she had seen in exhibitions in Moscow, and now asked what I meant to express by them.
  2. (personal, sometimes endearing) A ship or boat.
    She could do forty knots in good weather.
    She is a beautiful boat, isn’t she?
  3. (personal, dated, sometimes endearing) A country, or sometimes a city, province, etc.
    She is a poor place, but has beautiful scenery and friendly people.
  4. (personal, endearing) Any machine or thing (besides a ship), such as a car.
    She only gets thirty miles to the gallon on the highway, but she’s durable.
  5. (personal) A person whose gender is unknown or irrelevant (used in a work, along with or in place of he, as an indefinite pronoun).
    • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow, 1990:
      Optimal experience is thus something that we make happen. For a child, it could be placing with trembling fingers the last block on a tower she has built, higher than any she has built so far; for a swimmer, it could be trying to beat his own record; for a violinist, mastering an intricate musical passage.


See also



  1. (African-American Vernacular)


she (plural shes)

  1. A female.
    Pat is definitely a she.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A[ndrew] Millar [], OCLC 928184292:
      Come, come, we know very well what all the matter is; but if one won’t, another will; so pretty a gentleman need never want a lady. I am sure, if I was you, I would see the finest she that ever wore a head hanged, before I would go for a soldier for her.
    • (Can we date this quote?)Lua error in Module:utilities at line 138: Language code has not been specified. Please pass parameter 1 to the template. Shakespeare:
      And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare / As any she belied with false compare.
    • William Thackeray, Vanity Fair
      [] he came home to find [] honest Swartz in her favourite amber-coloured satin, with turquoise bracelets, countless rings, flowers, feathers, and all sorts of tags and gimcracks, about as elegantly decorated as a she chimney-sweep on May-day.
    • 2000, Sue V. Rosser, Building inclusive science volume 28, issues 1-2, page 189:
      A world where the hes are so much more common than the shes can hardly be seen as a welcoming place for women.




A derivative of shi.


she m (indefinite plural she, definite singular sheu, definite plural shetë)

  1. undrying rivulet
Related terms




  1. (deprecated use of |lang= parameter) Nonstandard spelling of shē.
  2. (deprecated use of |lang= parameter) Nonstandard spelling of shé.
  3. (deprecated use of |lang= parameter) Nonstandard spelling of shě.
  4. (deprecated use of |lang= parameter) Nonstandard spelling of shè.

Usage notes

  • English transcriptions of Mandarin speech often fail to distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Mandarin language, using words such as this one without the appropriate indication of tone.



From Old Irish is + ed (literally, it is so; compare Irish sea, Scottish Gaelic seadh).


she (dependent form nee)

  1. Present/future copula form
    She ynseyder eh Juan.John is a teacher.
    (definition: predicate is indefinite)
    She Juan yn ynseyder.John is the teacher.
    (identification: predicate is definite)
    She mish honnick eh.It's me who saw him.
    (cleft sentence)
    She Juan ta ny ynseyder.It's John who is a teacher.
    (cleft sentence)

Usage notes

Used in present and future sentences for identification or definition of a subject as the person/object identified in the predicate of the sentence. Used to introduce cleft sentences, which are extremely common in Manx. It is not a verb. For the particle that introduces adjectives, see s'.

She has no past tense; the appropriate conjugation of ve must be used instead.

  • Shen va'n soilshey firrinagh.
    That was the true light.

Middle English








  1. here