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Picture of Kalleh
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There was a good article in the Chicago Tribune today about the word youse . I hope you can access it. This gives a bit of the history
quote:
"Youse" originated in Ireland among speakers switching from Gaelic to English. Gaelic has a second-person plural, sibh, and the Irish thought their newly acquired language ought to have one, too. So they conceived the neat solution of adding an "s" to "you" to make it plural. Irish immigrants brought "youse" to the United States, and it was once widely used in cities where they settled. (It's still widely used in Ireland.) The word can now be heard mainly among older people in ethnic neighborhoods of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis, as well as in the mining communities of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. (The Southwest Sider who asked my friend and me if we were lost was definitely Irish, because after asking if we were lost, he offered us a beer and invited us to join him to watch the mourners arriving at a wake across the street.) In Pittsburgh, the word is "yinz," a contraction of the Scots-Irish "you uns."


I don't say youse, just you, and I am not sure why they say we need a second-person plural, do you? Can't you be both plural and singular? It has never seemed confusing to me.

The author says he thinks youse has gradually gone out of use because it became associated with Archie Bunker (whom the author calls a "blue-collar white ethnic"), and baby boomers didn't want to sound like Archie. I think that could be true.

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I still hear yous (youz) in this area. What do youz want to do for supper?

Another weird thing that happens for those who were born on the other side of the Potomac here (making them West Virginians) is the non-use of the past tense of give. Many don't say, "She gave it to me." They will say instead, "She gived it to me." I have always found that peculiar. I can't say this is true for most West Virginians, but it is prevalent in the region near where I live.


"Wishing in gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease." ~from the Metta Sutta
 
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quote:
It has never seemed confusing to me.



That's the thing. People who have a particular linguistic axe to grind often use the "it's confusing" argument but the the fact is that few of these things are ever actually confusing beyond very contrived examples. Native speakers always understand these things in context.

I'm at the teacher training time of year again at the moment and so I hear many language variants from our teachers to be. The most common version I hear for this plural pronoun variant is "y'all" with "y'alls" for the plural form of "yours".

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Didn't Mike Royko's character, Srats Grobnik use
"youse?" If so, Royko attributed Gaelic to a slav.
 
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How about "didja", as in "Didja see the Super Bowl?"


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Old English had dual as well as plural pronouns:
Singular: þū "you"
Plural: gē "you"
Dual: git "you two"
 
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I see German "du" and early modern English "ye," but git I don't get.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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quote:
The most common version I hear for this plural pronoun variant is "y'all" with "y'alls" for the plural form of "yours".
In the U.S. you mostly hear that in the South - surely not around here, unless the person is from the South.
 
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Hea in N'Englin, a y'all is a sailing ship.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Actually the need for a plural 'you' comes up fairly often when you're in a group setting. For example someone suggests something & you want to ask if the rest agree. I grew up saying 'you all' (not the Southern YOUall/ y'all). 'You guys' only in a very informal setting, & not as a teacher because it's too chummy.

Ever hear "yizzle"? = "you all will". I used to hear that in the Philadelphia area.
 
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Yizzle? Sounds like freezing rain caused by yuppies.

I remember the southern yacht builder whose party invitations said, "Yawl come."
 
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