Not being a southern boy but living in Kentucky has presented many phrases that have become familiar and some not so much.
While talking to a fellow from a little farther south, he asked me what the plural for Y'all was. I thought it to be a joke because I was a Yankee and I thought Y'all was already plural, but he was sincere and so I played the game with him.
I thought the answer possibilities might be Y'all's, Yuin's, them'ns, etc. No of those surely cold be correct, so I finally gave up and said, "so what is the plural form of Y'all.
He finally replied!
Wait for it!
Wait for it!
The answer is
Not funny to many, but I had to laugh out loud.
You just never know!
"Y'all" is plural. It's never used to refer to one person. "All y'all" is redundant, but commonplace. It means the same thing as y'all.
Y'all better get yer grammar polished up for the Hillbilly Tour next month!
(....in Chicago, it's "youse guys"!)
I think "yuin's" is a western thing.
I have a friend in Catoosa, OK, who frequently uses that term.
I had never heard it before.
How bout "Y'alls".
yuin's might be a western thing back east, but in the West (west of the divide, everything else is back east) it is not used.
"Yankee in the South" Isn't there a book about that?
OH Wait! It is "A Yankee in King Arthur's Court"
If y'all think y'all is hard to understand try " I wouldn't care to"
Does that mean you would or would not be willing to do something?
Oklahoma is back East!
OK How about "Down east" which is really up east for most of the country
I think the use of "Y'all" in the singular is a Hollywood stereotype of the South. We do say a lot of things differently down here, but being born and raised here and now nearly 50, Scarlet O'Hara and those trying to mimic her are the only ones I've ever heard use "Y'all" in the singular. "All Y'all" is used to definitively include EVERYONE in a group, rather than just some members of said group. For instance:
Y'all are a bunch of sissies!
Who's a sissy?
Some movies (I believe "My Cousin Vinny" is one) use the word y'all (short for "you all") incorrectly by using it to refer it to one person. Ya'll always refers to two or more people. Are ya'll going to the party tonight? The singular form of ya'll is "you". Are you going to the party tonight? Jim Patrick
I have relatives in Texas who do use "y'all" as singular and "all y'all" as plural... useage may be a regional thing?
Advice for the Hillbilly tour: In the Missouri Ozarks most folks say "you'ens" (often sounds like "yens") or "yoons" for plural, such as: "Air yoons gonna come over fer supper this evenin'? I heard yens all liked ma's fried 'possum and sweet taters."
For singular, most say "you" or "ya" as in, "Why don't ya come over to the house ta'night? Yer sure gonna like what ma's a'gonna be fixin'." The word "yer" is a slurred contraction of "you-are." Hillbillies don't waste syllables.
Derek -- Hal Davis summed up the use of "y'all" vs. "all y'all" pretty well with reference to the group thing.
p.s. -- There's no explaining Texans.
I only know one thing, I never heard of fried possum, we always had it baked. KB
Down East is Maine because of the prevailing winds that blow that way. John
Y'all need alla y'all to differentiate from summa y'all as in "We'll all meet summa y'all at the pool hall unless alla y'all wanna go!" Got it?
John, I understood that perfectly well. No kidding; I really did. C'est Bon.
My first trip to St. Martinville was in '83. There was a restaurant where the menu was in both French and English. The placard at the Evangeline Oak is in both languages as well.
That same year, I was in Alec for a few nights; I remember a TV station that broadcast the news in French. A couple of years ago, the restaurant in St. Martinville no longer had French menus, and I believe the Alec TV station no longer broadcasts in French.
A customer in Youngsville told me that as a child in the forties, they would get paddled at school if they spoke French.
Sadly, so much of the area's uniqueness has been diluted. However, whenever our aerial applicator conventions are in Lafayette, there are still good natured arguments about restaurants. For me, I still can't choose a favorite between Prejeans and Lagneaux's.
I am not a southerner (well, okay, born in North Carolina, but that was an accident of war - I really am a St Louisan). I do love language and discussions about language, though, and I agree with what has been said above. "Y'all" is already plural. "All y'all" is not redundant, though, it is an emphasizer. In other words, in standard broadcast English, I might say to a group of people, "You need to study this material before tomorrow." If I wanted to stress that I meant that everyone in the group really needed to do it, I might say, "All of you need to study this material before tomorrow." That is the function of "all y'all," in my opinion.
Dick -- As usual, your opinion is right on. That's a surprisingly astute analysis coming from a non-Southerner.
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I am truly amazed at some non-southern folk who think they better understand what is being said than the person doing the talking.
If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it make a sound? Just ask a yankee and, not only will he tell you what sound it made, but he'll also tell you what it intended to say.
It's a southern thing, y'all don't understand.
Being new to the Southern culture (now about thirty four years)there is also a singular term that is used when y'all is not appropriate. It is "onlyest". Like "you are the onlyest one I know that can do that".
Hal: I knew someone from Ga would understand it. My wife did that to me years ago and she is from GA. Dan
When yuins git y'all figgerd out I'll be watchin' all y'all.......
My sister-in-law from Alabama moved to Boston 20 or 25 years ago. She has long since lost her Southern accent and sounds to us like a native Bostonian. Her in-laws disagree. They say she has s Southern accent. However, when pressed to explain, they admit its not the accent, but the terminology. She still uses Southern terminology, but with a Boston
I was saying she uses Southern terminology but with a Boston accent. For instance, she might say "I'm fixin' to go to the store." But with a Boston accent. Its weird.
In Australia it is "youse". :-)