Just in from Charlotte: A new variation on ‘y’all’?

As a lifelong Southerner, I have witnessed many abuses to “y’all.”

I have seen its apostrophe misplaced.

I have heard it misused to address one person, rather than two or more.

But until recently I hadn’t even considered the possibility of redundant pluralization.

As a friend and I finished breakfast at a local Pancake House, the waitress handed us the check with a cheery “OK, this is y’all’s-es’.” (Spelling suggestion, anyone?)

What a word! More amusing than offensive, at least to my ear. Is it a fledgling neologism — or have I just not been paying attention?

 

6 thoughts on “Just in from Charlotte: A new variation on ‘y’all’?”

  1. Moving to CLT when I was 11 from the Midwest, I had a very keen ear for what was a second language for me. Y’allses is plural possessive that was commonly heard by me growing up in CLT and rural Iredell County in the 70s. The server was simply saying this food is the food that belongs to the people at this table. Possessives, even without the plural, are really creatively interpreted (that is Forresteses = that belongs to Forrest–I am not even going to try to put an apostrophe in there). Put an “s” sound in the word, and the problem compounds. I am not sure that it is in linguistic rotation in other parts of NC, but it was a staple of local language in Piedmont NC when I grew up. I am not sure what y’allses experiences were.

  2. I haven’t heard y’all’s-es’ but I have no doubt that it’s been said. The other, more common, redundancy is “All y’all” as in, “I need all y’all in the photo,” or “All y’all are going to be in trouble if you don’t stop …” It only SOUNDS redundant. It’s used for emphasis, I think, to make clear that you don’t just mean some of the group, but the whole gang.

  3. I’m pretty sure I say y’all-es frequently. As in, those are y’all-es. I’ve never really thought about how I do that though. Funny….(and I live in Charlotte. Mostly my whole life, but have family influences with eastern nc dialects.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.