Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year, Y'all

Eddie Awad recently mentioned the Southern US Y'all (or You-all) in a piece about coming to America as an English speaker some years ago and not recognising some of the expressions he heard (You have Egg On Your Chin.)

I like y'all, and the Northern British equivalent, youse (pronounced like booze). Y'all and youse are plural forms of you, like the archaic ye that we don't seem to need any more ("O ye of little faith"; "Ye Gods") and in my experience people are careful to use them only when addressing more than one person. It's nice to see a dialect form that makes a finer distinction than Standard English.

2 comments:

Noons said...

Just to let you know that "youse"
is also widel used in Australia.
Where it makes perfect sense to my
fine, Latin-based ear.
Oh, and HNY to you 2!
;-)

Steven said...

Y'all is far better than the execrable 'you guys', which sounds like something one of Jimmy Cagney's wise guys would say.