On My Behalf: Learn the Meaning of “On My Behalf” (with Helpful Examples)

Last Updated on March 19, 2020

The phrase “on my behalf” is a phrase that you will hear or see quite frequently used in everyday conversation and writing. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase and information regarding its origin. You will also see this phrase used properly in conversations/statements and discover other ways you can say this phrase while still conveying the same meaning.

On My Behalf

On My Behalf Meaning

The idiom “on my behalf” means to act or speak for another person when that other person permits because they either cannot themselves or are not physically present.

Origin of this idiom

The phrase “on my behalf” is derived from the meaning of the word bihalve. This term dates back to at least the 1300s and meant to stand by someone’s side. Additionally, the phrase “on his” was being used during this time as well to mean on his side. The two were merged and first appeared in writing sometime between 1381 and 1386 when it was used by Chaucer in his poem titled Troilus and Criseyde. Bihalve was changed to behalf at an unspecified period of time and the phrase became what we see today.

“On My Behalf” Examples

Examples in Statements

A statement made by a prisoner during questioning.

  • “I would like for a lawyer to speak on my behalf. I have nothing more to say to you.”

A statement made by a celebrity during an interview on the red carpet.

  • “I have a little cold right now and my voice is awful. I am going to allow my husband to speak to you on my behalf.”

Examples in Conversations

A conversation between a teacher and her students.

  • Teacher: Now class, I am going to absent tomorrow because of a personal matter.
  • Class: Awww! Bummer!
  • Teacher: But I will be back the day after.
  • Class: Yay!
  • Teacher: A substitute will be here tomorrow acting on my behalf, so I expect you all to be on your very best behavior!

A conversation between hospital staff and a son whose father is ill.

  • Staff: Your father is very ill and needs to be treated immediately.
  • Son: Okay, what do you need me to do.
  • Father: They need you to sign papers on my behalf since I have lost all feeling in my right arm and hand. I can’t do it.
  • Son: Sure, dad, not a problem. Where do I sign?

Other examples:

  • He doesn’t have to exert himself on my behalf.
  • I can call on no congressman to worry on my behalf.
  • I can not make up my mind whom to send on my behalf.

Other Ways to Say “On My Behalf”

There are several ways to say “on my behalf” and convey the same meaning. Some other things you could say include:

  • In my stead
  • For me
  • In place of

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