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Southern Dictionary: Y’all June 19, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in General.
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Y’all is a very popular contraction in the southern region of the U.S. It is a contraction of “you” and “all”. It is typically directed at any group that consists of more than two people. Here are a couple of examples:

 “Thank y’all for inviting us to dinner.”
 “Y’all have a very lovely home.”
 “Daddy’s gonna beat y’alls butts when he finds out!”

And in case you weren’t aware, southerners are allowed to pluralize words that are already plural.

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Comments»

1. Beth Camp - June 19, 2008

Is it plural or possessive in the butts example?

2. houndstooth1 - June 19, 2008

Philadelphian do the plural squared thing too.
Exhibit A: What are yous (pronounced yooz) guys doing? Or, simply, What are yooz doin’?
;-P

3. smooregasbord - June 19, 2008

I consider it to be both plural and possessive, but then again if you’re using the term “y’all”, I don’t think you’re all that into grammar!

4. smooregasbord - June 19, 2008

Ooh, the “yous guys” is a good one.

5. Tiffany - June 20, 2008

In northern Michigan there is little issue of pluralalizing, but there is a tendency to turn statements into questions and to excessively overuse the words “aye” and “you know.” “Aye” is taken as confirmation, rather than something you need to respond to. Example:

It was a long day today, aye? (Said to someone you did not see all day.)

The proximity to Canada also makes for really long vowels and a Fargo-esque accent. Not nearly as attractive as those southern drawls!

6. smooregasbord - June 20, 2008

Yes, the “aye” definitely makes me think of Frances McDormand’s character in Fargo…or one of our friends from Minnesota.

7. Adrienne - June 23, 2008

Let’s also not forget the oh-so-charming “effyuhs” born in NJ/NY.


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