Hi,

I borrowed the money from one Edward Ashley.

Please elaborate in the use of one. Why is it used?
Original Post
This is a very formal -- almost overly formal -- way for the speaker to say that he doesn't know the person or never heard of him before, Izzy.

I don't know the context this comes from (sigh), but the speaker borrowed that money from a man he didn't really know.
Yes, I suppose. The borrower only knows the name or just some basics about the lender.
( I reposted this, since for some reason, my original post omitted the example at the end.)

Richard is correct. 'One' in this usage is indeed overly formal. In fact, Garner* says it is pretentious:

'One [+ name]. Using one as an adjective before a proper name, as in 'one Howard James,' is a pretentious legalism with a valid pedigree in English, but generally without justification in modern prose. It might even hint at biblical echoing, for the OED quotes from the Bible: 'and of one Jesus, which was, dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive.' [Acts 25:19].

Today,however, the word one usually looks askance at any name following it. But occasionally it can be neutral in connotation, when the writer wants to hint that the person named is not someone the reader is probably familiar with:at the table were Madonna, Elton John, and one Harold Pfister of Des Plaines.'
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*Garner's Modern American English, by Bryan A. Garner. Oxford 2003
Last edited by Rachel, Moderator

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