Y'all and No?

Buchmann buchmann at BELLSOUTH.NET
Thu Mar 29 22:52:50 UTC 2001

There is a peculiarity about the Southern use of "you all" / "y'all"
which most 'Yankees' seem to miss -- it is NOT directed to a
single individual BUT to that individual AND his ( extended /
invisible / not present ) kin. There are many people these days
who have been born in the South but who are not Southern
nationals [ => unbroken maternal descent since before the
WONA]. These people repeat what they hear without
understanding it, often getting meanings reversed.

Natalie Maynor wrote:

> Charles Wells wrote:
> > 1) I have been occasionally hearing non-southern young people (mainly
> > college students) use "y'all" as a second person plural the way southerners
> > do.  Has anyone else noticed this?  Is it spreading?
> Yes.  "Y'all" has been spreading outside the South for a good while
> now.  Meanwhile, "you guys" is infiltrating the South (among younger
> speakers).  My female students say that, though they personally use
> "y'all" and not "you guys," they feel included when somebody says
> "you guys" to a group they're in.  I don't.  I still think of guys
> as males.
> > 2) I have also heard non-Latino students use "no?" in the way it is used in
> > Spanish (without any joking Mexican accent), as in
> > "That movie is at the Rialto, no?"
> I hear it, and I think I sometimes say it.
>    --Natalie Maynor (maynor at ra.msstate.edu)

More information about the Ads-l mailing list