A common slang word used in south western Pennsylvania and the forefront example of of what is commonly known as "Pittsburghese" is the word:
| yinz |
Or alternatively it is less commonly used in long form, Youins:
| ju ɪnz |
To use it in a sentence would be similar to the slang conjugation Y'all when addressing or questioning an unnamed or understood group of people informally in a sentence.
Are yinz comin' out to our place before we head to the Steelers game?
Are y'all coming to the speedway for the NASCAR race?
As a native of Pittsburgh, we proudly use this word in conversation despite the seeming confusion and disdain that outsiders seem to have for this word. Two separate friends, one from Boston and one from Brooklyn, both criticize me when I use the word as well as other common regional differences like "this task needs finished..." or "I left the warsh rag by the sink". They say it makes me sound unintelligent and that I should teach myself to lose regional diction for the sake of my career.
I was often curious about the origins of the word. With south western PA being an old melting pot of original English/Scotch/Irish settlers, Italian, Polish and Slovak immigrants coming to work in the steel mills, I have heard from Italians that it came from the Polish, while the Polish claim it was from the Italians (I am mostly Italian and Polish by blood so I have both cultures in my family). Others still claim it was a derivation of African-American slang that everybody picked up because all of these different peoples worked closely in the same factories and mills.
Is there an official analysis on the origins of this word or is it forever to be a mystery lost in cultural history?