Singular "yez"?

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Sat Dec 11 04:12:24 UTC 2004

On Dec 10, 2004, at 3:14 PM, Beverly Flanigan wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIOU.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Singular "yez"?
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> 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.
>> Larry
> 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
> somewhere.
> Beverly

Speaking of the Stanley Brothers, have you ever heard their cover of
"Finger-Poppin' Time," an R&B tune originally recorded by The
Midnighters? Their lead singer was Hank Ballard, otherwise known as the
author of "The Twist."

-Wilson Gray

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