"yo" (a slightly different example)

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Sep 28 13:35:00 UTC 2001

>How about:
>Let's get a taco yo.
>The yard needs mowed yo.
>I'm gonna be late for class yo.
>I've heard them all in the last week.  Neither the "y'know" or "hey"
>definition seem to fit very well (IMHO), but I can't come up with anything

It is my speculation that in at least some cases -- perhaps in these ones
-- this "yo" is probably a vocative "y'all". In some cases it may be a
'meaningless' noise uttered in imitation of somebody else ... but still
ultimately a copy of "y'all" ... I suspect originally from popular media of
some sort.

A young person of my acquaintance expresses the opinion that
sentence-terminal "yo" as used at the local school seems to be some version
of "you". [This person has little acquaintance with "y'all", and the local
speech typically does not include any pronoun which sounds like "yo".]
Another young person of similar background who attended the same public
school a few years earlier does not recognize the "yo" ... maybe it's a new
arrival here ... or maybe it's just a matter of a different circle of friends.

-- Doug Wilson

More information about the Ads-l mailing list