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Yous, (Youse?) Ireland and New York

Posted by Joel on May 10, 2003

In Reply to: Yous, (Youse?) Ireland and New York posted by ESC on May 09, 2003

: : I was at the local diner last night where I was talking to a waitress who was using the word "yous" as a sort of plural form of "you". "I didn't know yous was coming in tonight." The only other people, besides New Yorkers, I have heard use this are Irish friends from the UK. (I'm pretty sure it comes from Irish immigrants in NY) So I'm wondering, could this be an archaic plural for of "you", or is it just quirky and wrong?

: Somewhere I've seen a discussion about all the variations of "you" but I can't remember where. Don't ya'll hate when that happens? I'll try to find it and post again.

I'll just add that New York city is not the only place in North America that this usage is common. I've never lived in NYC (visited there, though), but I have heard "yous" used by quite a few people from Toronto, Canada. Again, the Irish origin seems possible, though I have often heard the usage from people of Scots (i.e., still Celtic) family origin. I believe it is a usage that is common in certain neighbourhoods, but no doubt suppressed in school.