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Southern Dictionary: Y’all June 19, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in General.

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.


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’?

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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