y'all

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Contraction of you all.

Pronunciation[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

y'all

  1. (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.

Usage notes[edit]

  • 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.[1]
  • 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.

Synonyms[edit]

  • see the list of other second-person pronouns in you

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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.

Anagrams[edit]