4

I heard someone on a TV show say:

What's it all mean?

As far as I know, 's could be the short form of has and is. But in this case, it seems more like to be the short form of does. Am I correct?

11

As the chart of English contractions on Wikipedia points out, 's can be used in place of does (as well as is, has, was and as).

It can also be used to represent the entirely unrelated us, as in let's.

  • Just out of curiosity, could you give me an example in which as has been contracted? – Meysam Dec 16 '11 at 8:50
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    @Meysam got one: We left early, so's not to be late. – user13141 Dec 16 '11 at 9:00
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    @Meysam: The non-standard 'That's as maybe' (meaning 'perhaps') can be contracted to 'that's's maybe' - although it would be rarely written other than as dialogue. – Barrie England Dec 16 '11 at 9:03
  • @BarrieEngland very hard to say that's's :D – Meysam Dec 16 '11 at 9:05
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    @BarrieEngland Now that I think, it's not that hard if the first 's is pronounced 's' and the second is pronounced 'z' – Meysam Dec 16 '11 at 9:07
1

You're quite right. I've never thought about it before, or seen it listed, but it is quite common in "What's he do?"

It's not that surprising if you think about it, because the "d" of "does" gets assimilated into the "t" of "what", so it becomes "whattəz" or "whadəz"

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