antedating of y'all (1702)

David Parker dparker at KENNESAW.EDU
Fri Jan 17 19:43:17 UTC 2014

"To Write well’s hard, but I appeal to y’all,
Is’t not much harder not to Write at all."

from “Prologue to the Fate of Capua,” by the Honourable Charles Boyle, Esq., in _A collection of poems: viz. The temple of death: by the Marquis of Normanby. . . . _  Second edition.  London: printed for Ralph Smith, at the Bible under the Royal Exchange in Cornhill, 1702. P. 434

The poem refers to _The Fate of Capua_, a play first published in 1700 by the Irish playwright Thomas Southerne.

I found this in Gale's Eighteenth Century Collections Online, a great resource of over 180,000 titles.

Previous earliest citation was (I think) Barry Popik's 1856.

> On Dec. 30, Barry Popik alerted us to his new page on "y'all", which
> he has dated back to 1856-7, in Alfred W. Arrington's novel _The
> Rangers and Regulators of the Tanaha, or Life Among the Lawless: A
> Tale of the Republic of Texas_.

David B. Parker
Professor of History
Assistant Chair,
  Dept. of History & Philosophy
Kennesaw State University

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list