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In the chorus of the song "Gone Country" by Alan Jackson, there is this sentence:

She/He's gone country, look at them boots

How come them is used instead of their? I am not a native English speaker so I am interested in knowing about this peculiar (at least to me) word choice.

This existing thread would tend to indicate that them can be used for that, but look at that boots don't really make sense?

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    "Them" is probably replacing 'those' not 'their'... Question still stands though.
    – Marv Mills
    Sep 15, 2015 at 10:47
  • Them is not probably but most definitely replacing those, not their. And the question stands as a duplicate of a duplicate.
    – RegDwigнt
    Sep 15, 2015 at 11:55

2 Answers 2

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In some English dialects, but not any Standard Englishes as far as I know, them is used where standard English uses those.

Edited for clarity: this is just a lexical oddity of those dialects. It is not part of a paradigm, so it does not mean that they can be used in a similar way, or the singular it: just the word them.

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  • I see you had already posted while I was typing my answer. I agree but I don't quite understand what you are saying about 'they or it'. Could you explain? Thanks. Sep 15, 2015 at 11:10
  • I'm interested in your analysis of "those them" as in "those them boots need a good clean" Sep 15, 2015 at 11:14
  • In line with your comment, I've simplified and updated my post. Sep 15, 2015 at 12:08
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I agree with Marv Mills' comment.

'Them' is a dialect alternative to 'those'.

Note that 'them' is plural here because the person has two boots. Another example: "Look at them trees over there." This means "Look at those trees over there"

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  • So what does it mean in "Look at those them trees over there?" Sep 15, 2015 at 11:24
  • @Araucaria That sentence is not grammatically correct. It has no meaning.
    – Marv Mills
    Sep 15, 2015 at 11:25
  • @Araucaria - I don't understand your question. I didn't type the collocation 'those them' in my answer. Sep 15, 2015 at 11:25
  • @chaslyfromUK I'm asking because, although I completely agree that them is used similarly to those in dialects that use it as a determiner like this, the collocation those them also occurs in some of those dialects. So that raises the question of whether them means exactly the same thing as those. Of, course it still could, but it might suggest that it carries some other kind of meaning too. Sep 15, 2015 at 11:28
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    I have never read or heard, 'those them' (in this sense). Could you give an example please? Preferably a link to such an example on the internet. Thanks. Sep 15, 2015 at 11:30

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