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От него гораздо больше толку, чем от некого короля!

{my literal translation}: From him (we get) a lot more use than from a certain king.

The only meaning of the word "некого" that I'm aware of is "no one", but it seems like a bit of a stretch to apply this meaning here.

Incidentally, I have read that "некого" is the negative genitive of "кто". So is "некого" made up of "не" and "кого"?

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  • Related discussion (in Russian) Feb 13 '18 at 19:17
  • "No-one" is a possible translation for "никого", which is a different word.
    – AlexVB
    Feb 13 '18 at 22:56
  • @DK. Wiktionary indeed lists некоего as a correct form. I believed the form is as outdated as "некоей" and "некоих". Ok.
    – AlexVB
    Feb 14 '18 at 7:03
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    In Related discussion (In Russian) I've posted a complete paradigm for некий.
    – alexsms
    Feb 14 '18 at 7:25
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This particular некого is unrelated to кто. It's from некий, which is basically a more bookish, slightly archaic какой-то.

Properly, the genitive should be некоего, but it's one of those quirks of inflection that a lot of people forget or never learn.

Here, the choice of неко(е)го over какого-то adds an undertone of scepticism or suspicion (a "some king" that stops just short of saying "some supposed king") whereas with какого-то, it would've been more outright dismissive ("some king... like those are ever any good").

EDIT: Ouch. I completely forgot — despite your translation — that некий can also have a different shade of meaning, close to кое-какой. So without context, it's hard to tell whether the speaker means "than some king" or, indeed, "than a certain king [we all know]".

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  • Hi. Тhe context is: "than a certain king [we all know]". Feb 13 '18 at 19:37
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    @alone-Zee, Comment about некий (род. пад.): Грамматический словарь РЯ (Зализняк, 1980, стр. 58) says the standard form is некоего, then adds that некого is possble but "в литературную норму еще не входит". Some search shows that modern dictionaries continue to hold the same view (treat некоего as standard).
    – alexsms
    Feb 14 '18 at 7:01

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