Singular "yez"?

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIOU.EDU
Fri Dec 10 20:14:44 UTC 2004

At 12:41 PM 12/10/2004, you wrote:
>At 11:21 AM -0500 12/10/04, Alice Faber wrote:
>> From a posting in alt.folklore.urban:
>>>In the Philly area (I am a recent immigrant) I swear that
>>>there is a singular pronoun "yez". My family thinks I'm
>>>hallucinating, or that maybe it's the Brooklynese "youse".
>>>Neither is true. "Youse" is plural and is quite distinct
>>>from what I'm hearing, e.g. "would yez like some coffee?"
>>>AM I hallucinating?
>Wonder if this is the same phenomenon as singular y'all, much
>discussed here.  As I recall, there was no consensus on whether
>so-called singular y'all generally involves an implicit reference to
>others in some contextually understood set to which the singular
>addressee belongs (e.g. 'you and your family', 'you and the horse you
>came in with') or whether there's a regional and social
>differentiation on this.

I've heard "ye" used in the singular occasionally too, in older Appalachian
English speakers; the parallel would be with the Anglo-Irish usage.  I'm
quite sure Ralph Stanley uses ye-sing. in an interview I've got on tape


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