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I have a student from Virginia who says she has heard the use of all y'allses; does anyone know about this? Is it that the second person plural being used is all y'alls (with the -s at the end here not indicating possessive but plural) and then the es is the possessive being added to that?

  • Now that is an impressive amount of pluralising and possessivising. Oddly reminiscent of how an increasing number of Danes now have a tendency to ask “Whose is that?” not with the more traditionally correct Hvis er det?, but with the endearingly fubared Hvemses er detses? (lit. who’s’s is that’s’s or whoses’ is thatses’ if you will). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 11 '14 at 23:16
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All y'allses is very Southern idiomatic speech, meaning, all of y'all's (you all's), or that all belonging to y'all.

all is a relatively common way of making an inclusive pronoun. Someone might say of a picnic table of food, "Did you make any of that all?" If the speaker is addressing several people, they might say, Did y'all make any of that-all?

All y'allses is not common except in in certain parts of the south, and definitely indicates possession, as opposed to plural. Plural of y'all is y'all, as it is a plural pronoun; sometimes all y'all may be used as the plural if it is a very large and diverse group.

But it more likely means, is that-all y'all's?

People in Tennessee (Knoxville/Memphis/Nashville) speak this way, and it is spoken in other Southern areas as well. It is very informal slang which is avoided by people who don't want to sound uneducated, or exploited by those who want to be identified with the deep south.

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  • Thanks for the reply. But I'm unclear: what is the difference between "all y'all's" and "all y'allses" (my spelling/punctuation of that aside)? Is it that the latter is used especially when the object of the possessive is plural? So "all y'all's house" if y'all live in one house but "all y'allses houses" if y'all live in different houses? – MYin Jan 11 '14 at 20:00
  • I love hearing about this stuff. Do you know of any recordings where I could hear these expressions pronounced? Is it anything like "Y'all" as said by the character Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad? I don't remember him ever saying All y'allses. – Mari-Lou A Jan 11 '14 at 20:01
  • @MYin: after doing a brief Google search, I can't see any difference between "all y'all's" and "all y'allses"; I see them both used for both individual and collective possession. I expect they're just different dialects. – Peter Shor Jan 11 '14 at 20:14
  • I grew up (near Knoxville, TN) speaking Standard American English, or what Susan so quaintly describes as "very Southern Idiomatic speech." (Well, they told me it was Standard American English.) It often makes fun of itself and, while 'you all' is plural, 'you alls' is slightly more plural and 'you allses' is really, really plural. If I invite 'you allses' to dinner I am indicated that I do, in fact, mean every single last one of you to come and I really hope to see each of you here. And 'all of you allses' is even more intensified, if intensified is a word. – Michael Owen Sartin Jan 11 '14 at 20:24
  • @MichaelOwenSartin - I did my graduate studies at UT-Oak Ridge. :) I heard "all a' y'all" more for a large groups than y'allses, but definitely y'allses for possessive your plural. – anongoodnurse Jan 11 '14 at 20:33

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