Y’all vs yawl

Y’all is a contraction of you all, and is used as a second person, plural, pronoun. The Southern United States is well known as the place of origin of this word, but it seems that y’all has an even longer history. There is a good argument tto be made that y’all was brought to the United States by the Scots-Irish with the term ye aw, as there was a large influx of Scots-Irish immigrants into the United States over the late 1700s and 1800s.

A yawl is a sailing ship with two masts, with the mizzenmast set far off the main mast. Yawl appears in the 1660s, from the German word jolle or the Dutch word jol, meaning a Jutland boat. 



It’s only Dec. 5. And some of y’all have had your outdoor Christmas lights up for about a month now. (The Visalia Times-Delta)

On Sunday the Oscar winner took to Instagram to promote a winter item from her collection – a clever pair of mittens that had one hand read ‘Hi y’all’ while the other said ‘Bye y’all.’ (The Daily Mail)

Corgi on Wrong Flight Greeted With ‘Aloha’ Instead of ‘Hi Y’all’ (The Press Telegraph)

“I called and say ‘officer, a gentlemen running a next man through Matthew Street with a gun, could y’all please come?'” (The Bahamas Tribune)

According to a Coast Guard spokesman, the fishing vessel Kayah, based in Vineyard Haven, struck the yawl boat, which was hanging from davits off the stern of Shenendoah while it was anchored in Vineyard Haven harbor. (The Vineyard Gazette)

The van then tipped over onto the driver’s side, the release said. According to police, the lack of visible brake or yawl marks indicates that Looney didn’t hit the brakes prior to crashing into the utility pole. (Cape Cod Today)



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  1. The last example is very interesting in that it appears to be a typo. I believe what was meant was “yaw” marks. Yaw in this case is when the tire is sliding sideways in a kind of a skid. (The rotations an airplane can make in three dimensions are called pitch, roll, and yaw.)

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