A new one on me y'all guys

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Oct 3 16:16:36 UTC 2012

The topic of this note is the spelling "ya'll". Below is an excerpt
from a book dated 1898 that contains multiple instances of "ya all"
and "ya'll" in close proximity. (Please double-check for typos.)

Year : 1898
Title: Wit, character, folklore & customs of the North Riding of
Yorkshire: with a glossary of over 4,000 words and idioms now in use
Author: Richard Blakeborough
Publisher: Oxford University Press Warehouse, Henry Frowde, London
Page: 314 and 315


Please note that the 1750 date in the following excerpt is from the
text and not from me.

[Begin excerpt]

A Beautiful Boy
[Date about 1750]

Ah sed, 'Lasses, beware o' love's piercing darts,
Foor feearful Ah be Ah s'all steeal all yer hearts;
An' then, mah deear lasses, ya'll sob an' ya'll sigh,
When you think o' mah charms, whahl ya'll langwish an' dee.
Ah can kiss, bud Ah caan't wed ya all,
Bud Ah wad if Ah mud, gert an' small;
Ah lang for ti cuddle ya all,
  For, ya ken, Ah's a beautiful boy.

[End excerpt]


On Wed, Oct 3, 2012 at 11:53 AM, Alice Faber <faber at haskins.yale.edu> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Alice Faber <faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU>
> Organization: Haskins Laboratories
> Subject:      Re: A new one on me y'all guys
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On 10/3/12 11:47 AM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>> On Oct 3, 2012, at 8:04 AM, Alice Faber wrote:
>>> On 10/3/12 11:00 AM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>>>> On Oct 3, 2012, at 6:44 AM, Jon Lighter wrote:
>>>>> Never have I heard "y'all guys."
>>>> [AZ] following up on Alice Faber ... (with Alice saying it was new for her).
>>> [AF] I was so startled by it, it didn't even occur to me to google.
>>>> [AZ] it would in fact be astonishing if the variant didn't occur with some frequency, given the frequency of vernacular 2pl "you guys" (especially in vocatives) and the use of y'all for 2pl in the South etc.
>>> [AF] It "felt" like a token-for-token replacement for "youse" in "youse
>>> guys", but that's my NY area bias talking (misleading me?)
>> more neutrally: "y'all guys" plays the same role for some Southerners (etc.) as "youse guys" does for NYers (etc.) -- and as "yinz guys" does for Picksboigers.
> And that says something--I'm not sure what--about the lexical status of
> "guy" and "guys" as some kind of pro-forms.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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