[Ads-l] Heard: _you guys_ = "you women"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Mar 27 01:37:49 UTC 2016

I'm not surprised. I've heard it since ca. 1969, at least. Yet, it keeps
coming up in discussions as though it were some kind of new departure, for
unknown reasons, and I've gotten tired of it. The BE standard has always
been the gender-free _you-all_ and _y'all_, since 1619. But it wasn't until
I entered UC Davis that I was in a position to be cognizant of how "the
other group" addressed its women, and searching "_you guys_ addressed to
women" is beyond my abilities.

On Sat, Mar 26, 2016 at 8:57 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

> Earlier such cites in HDAS, including this one from a 1932 American Speech
> article:
> One girl to others:  "Come on, guys".
> A 1942 article in the Journal of General Psychology cites a similar
> utterance, "Come on, you guys", and comments "'Guy' is used without regard
> to age or sex'", although I suspect this held in 1942 largely for plural
> vocatives (with or without the pronoun) or for non-referential cases in
> which someone (of either sex) is described as "a good/regular/real guy".
> Jon has the same sense, glossing 'a person of either sex regarded as
> decent, down-to-earth, good company, etc.; (hence) (in pl., usu. following
> "you") persons of either sex' and adding the time-stamp (not to be confused
> with those more recent stamps) "[The second nuance has become notably
> common in direct address among young women only ca1940].
> (I'm not sure on whether Jon's "among" is intended to characterize young
> women as addressees or as speakers, but the cites do pick up right around
> then, although the 1932 AmSp one above indicates "(you) guys" for female
> addressess wasn't unknown in the previous decade.   Don't know what sort of
> data we can find for nuns as addressees; maybe it's the informality that's
> more surprising than the gender-nonspecificity.
> LH
> > On Mar 26, 2016, at 5:37 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >
> > In an episode of Diagnosis Murder, Dick Van Dyke as Mark Sloan, MD, says
> to
> > a group of nuns in their convent:
> >
> > "Here is what I want _you guys_ to do."
> >
> >
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wiki_Diagnosis-3A-5FMurder-5F-28season-5F1-29&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=n5pK3Ud_dgRHd1gR07req4nSH986J0V9n-DxT4-qBgQ&s=XdEnhYQ7GbEX-YZIkWGH3TCvZ6UeLE9uTr8UEWyZCJ8&e=
> > Episode 19: "Sister Michael Wants You"
> > Date: May 13, 1994
> > --
> > -Wilson
> > -----
> > All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> > come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> > -Mark Twain
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society -
> https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIBaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=n5pK3Ud_dgRHd1gR07req4nSH986J0V9n-DxT4-qBgQ&s=impZwjl-6rJhlnCZccZU01ZuqbV57vZW9w4H9xpbbB0&e=
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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