Singular Y'all Come Back, Hear?

Dan Goodman dsgood at VISI.COM
Sat Jan 10 16:39:50 UTC 2004

RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
> Yes, the formulaic "Y'all Come Back, Hear?" is often reported. As I
> recall, Richardson and others explain this as a kind of (genteel?)
> idiom meaning "Come back and bring your friends and family."
> Alternatively, for many speakers, it could be that singular/plural
> distinction is neutralized, just as explcit gender identification is
> neutralized in such currently popular structures as "Next, the
> researcher will need to take steps to insure that the privacy of her
> human subjects is protected." That is to say, just as this use of
> "her" is not valid evidence for the assertion that "her" now "means"
> either male or female, so to this speciallized use off "y'all" does
> not argue that native speakers generally think of "y'all" as a normal
> singular form, much less regularly use it that way.

Minnesota equivalent:   "We'll see you."

I don't know if it's in all of Minnesota; but I've heard it from people
raised in the Twin Cities, and from people raised elsewhere in Minnesota.

Dan Goodman
Journal or
Whatever you wish for me, may you have twice as much.

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