Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Contraction of you all.
- IPA(key): /jɔl/
- (cot–caught merger) IPA(key): /jɑl/
Audio (American Southern) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɔːl
- Homophone: yawl
- (chiefly US, dialect, Southern US) Plural form of you.
1987, Judson D. Hale, The education of a Yankee: an American memoir, page 3:
- Much later, after dozens of the men had come up to me to shake my hand (with both of theirs) and say "Y'all come back soon, hear? ...
2007, Roy Blount, Long time leaving: dispatches from up South, page 117:
- People in the South do indeed seem to be addressing a single person as "y'all." For instance, a restaurant patron might ask a waiter, "What y'all got for dessert tonight?" In that case, "y'all" refers collectively to the people who run the restaurant.
- The form y'all is heard primarily in the Southern United States, and nationwide in AAVE, while youse is heard in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, particularly Philadelphia.
- In the past, y'all was never used as a proper singular, but it may have been used where there is an implied plural, e.g. "you [and your team]", "you [and your coworkers]", "you [and your family]". Due to a cultural shift in the United States by non-Southerners using the word, it is sometimes used as a singular you.
- Notwithstanding its etymology, the all in y'all is merely a plural marker, not a quantifier. Thus, just as us may refer either to some of us or all of us in standard English, y'all may refer either to some of y'all or to all [of] y'all.
- see the list of other second-person pronouns in you
plural of you
- ^ Okrent, Anrika (2014-09-14), "Can y'all be used to refer to a single person?" (in English), The Week. The Week Publications. URL accessed on 2014-09-15.