“You-all” Spoken Here

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“You-all” Spoken Here

by John Shelton Reed
Southern Cultures, Vol. 2, No. 1: Fall 1995

"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."

“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.