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"You-all" Spoken Here

"You-all" Spoken Here South Polls "You-all" (or "y'all") is probably the best-known southernism. Certainly it's what Yankees invariably turn to when they want to imitate southern speech. And with good reason: more than two-thirds of southerners, compared to only one nonsoutherner in six, say that they hear this expression "very often." Almost half of southerners say that they use the expression "very often" themselves, compared to only 11 percent of nonsoutherners. In the South, both hearing you-all and saying it are pretty much unaffected by education and income, and both are almost as common among urban southerners as among rural ones. Oddly, although you-all is employed at least occasionally by solid majorities of both black and white southerners, blacks are only half as likely as whites to say it "very often" and nearly twice as likely to claim they never say it at all (30 percent versus 16 percent). Outside the South the pattern is reversed: there, blacks are far more likely than whites to use you-all. Some southern ways are threatened by the influx of nonsoutherners, but this one more than holds its own. Younger southerners are even more likely than older ones to say you-all. It also seems that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

"You-all" Spoken Here

Southern Cultures , Volume 2 (1) – Jan 4, 1995

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488
Publisher site
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Abstract

South Polls "You-all" (or "y'all") is probably the best-known southernism. Certainly it's what Yankees invariably turn to when they want to imitate southern speech. And with good reason: more than two-thirds of southerners, compared to only one nonsoutherner in six, say that they hear this expression "very often." Almost half of southerners say that they use the expression "very often" themselves, compared to only 11 percent of nonsoutherners. In the South, both hearing you-all and saying it are pretty much unaffected by education and income, and both are almost as common among urban southerners as among rural ones. Oddly, although you-all is employed at least occasionally by solid majorities of both black and white southerners, blacks are only half as likely as whites to say it "very often" and nearly twice as likely to claim they never say it at all (30 percent versus 16 percent). Outside the South the pattern is reversed: there, blacks are far more likely than whites to use you-all. Some southern ways are threatened by the influx of nonsoutherners, but this one more than holds its own. Younger southerners are even more likely than older ones to say you-all. It also seems that

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 4, 1995

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