Thursday, September 20, 2007


Having been born in, and lived in, the South all my life. I'd like to correct a few million people on their usage and spelling of the word 'y'all'.

It is spelled 'Y'ALL' and is short for the words 'you all'. If you are spelling it YA''re just wrong. Sorry. This is not my rule, but according to the following is the accepted rule.

The Encarta World English Dictionary
Miriam-Webster Dictionary, 10th edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

Just one more little thing...Y'all is a second person plural pronoun. This means it is always refering to more than one person. I hear people sometimes use the word y'all when refering to 1 in, "Where have y'all been?" instead of "Where have you been?". WRONG. If you are talking to a group of your girlfriends, it would be perfectly correct to say, "Did y'all go to the mall without me?"...because you are talking to a group. [If your girlfriends DID go to the mall without you, find you some more considerate friends!]

Now I hope that I have enlightened y'all about the use of 'y'all'. I share this with you because I would never want you to use this little word incorrectly, and that is just what us southern friends do for one another!

The preceeding is another in a series of public service announcements brought to you by Gatherings, a blog from the Deep South, y'all. [And, I'm talking to more than one person here].


Ang baylis said...

This is a great post, Tonja!
I learned something today, thanks to you!

I've met so many southern friends on this blog and I find myself wanting to use the word, Y'all! I just can't pull it off with my friends here in the north!

Now, knowing myself I will want to correct every person who is using it incorrectly!

I absolutely LOVE that word!
Angie xoxo

melissa c said...

I am loving your 'public service annoucements'!!
LOL about the unconsiderate friends that went to the mall without you (or whoever) ;)


Musicaljean said...

Ah, yes, Tonja, you have enlightened me on many things! Because of you I bought Spanx and did not wear panithose with sandals all summer long!!! I made sure I polished all my toe nails every time! I bought Hollywood Fashion tape to keep my tops in place (although I forgot to use it the one time in my life I met you!!!), I've learned how to survive "funk city"..... And now I've learned how to spell "y'all". Actually, Kat corrected me when I mispelled it, but I still couldn't remember which was the right spelling! Your thorough explanation is just what this northerner needed!! You are such a trip and I love having you for a friend.

justabeachkat said...

Oh Girl! I think I've been using it wrong! We've always used ya'll in my family. But, you're absolutely right. If it's for 'you all', it makes sense that it should be y'all. I can't promise I'll do it the correct way all the time though....I'm a old dog and doing new tricks is hard :-)

nancygrayce said...

I was born and bred in the south too, but I have used it wrong for all these 55 years! It may be too late to teach an old dog!

Iris said...

Left the south over 40 years ago. Have no need for the word, so never mispell or misuse. Everything and every other word is game for my misuse, however. I think I may be an expert at misuse of the English language. One would hope I would have learned by now -- not likely I guess.

Appreciate your sharing.

From way.... up North!