Re: Redneck step of the day...

Subject: Re: Redneck step of the day...
From: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 08:37:48 -0600 (CST)

On Dec 18, 2009, Pinkham, Jim <Jim -dot- Pinkham -at- voith -dot- com> wrote:

I turned to Wikipedia, too, and the author of that article maintains that
"ye" is the archaic second person plural,

I remembered something as I read this Jim's remark. A friend of mine who is From Away (did not grow up in Maine) has lived in the Maine coast for many years. There is an ice cream place near her called Dorman's. She told me that a friend of hers, an older man and lifelong Mainer, called out to her "I seen ye putting the ice cream to ye over Dorman's!"

He was speaking of her alone, at least that's how I've always understood the story. So, at least in mid-coast Maine, "ye" has a singular application.

I was thinking, though, that while "y'all" may be a recent Americanism (by recent, I mean the last 200-300 years), it might possibly also go back to something like "Ye all." A quick googling of the term "ye all" turns up what seem like examples of recent wordplay by individual people, but also this listing:

It's a manuscript of a Middle English poem. Can't see the actual text.

Ah well, anyway, I love Maine speech and have always loved my friend's story. Jim just gave me an excuse to tell it!



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