I am asking if "yuns" is a word, and if it is, how do I use it?

Maybe it's just a north east american term, but I'm unsure how it's used in a sentence like:

How yuns doing?


2 Answers 2


OED says that you-uns (yuns) is U.S. regional and chiefly Midland and Appalachian, and adds that it can be used for both singular and plural you. It is formed within English by combining "you" pron. and the plural of "one" pron.

you-uns, pron.
Second person singular or plural pronoun: = you pron. Cf. you-all pron.

OED includes two sets of forms of the term:

α. 1800s youns, 1800s– you'ns, 1900s– y'uns, 1900s– ye'ns, 1900s– yins (Pennsylvania), 1900s– yinz (Pennsylvania), 1900s– younz (Pennsylvania), 1900s– yunz (Pennsylvania), 2000s– y'uns, 2000s– yens, 2000s– yoons, 2000s– yuns.

β. 1800s yo-uns, 1800s youans, 1800s– you 'ens, 1800s– you 'uns, 1800s– you ones, 1800s– you'uns, 1800s– you-uns, 1900s– you uns, 1900s– you-ones, 1900s– youin's, 2000s– you-ins.

and adds this note:

Since the second half of the 20th cent. the α. forms (especially yinz, yunz) have come to be considered as a defining characteristic of the speech of the inhabitants of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Funnily, the first written attestations of the two forms of the term you-uns are in citations talking about how people have heard about the term:

1810    M. van H. Dwight Jrnl. 10 Nov. in Journey to Ohio (1912) 37    Youns is a word I have heard used several times, but what it means I don't know.

1869    Overland Monthly Aug. 131/2    During the war we all heard enough of ‘we-uns’ and ‘you-uns’, but ‘you-alls’ was to me something fresh.

I'm also adding other citations from OED for you to see how it was used:

1865 Atlantic Monthly Sept. 344/1 There 's a camp of our men out there, two hundred of them, and they will pay you'ns for pestering me!
1921 Amer. Angler Sept. 259/1 We'll put y'uns up fer th' nite.
1941 J. Agee & W. Evans Let us now praise Famous Men 371 I don't trust yuns.
1981 S. McCool How to speak Pittsburghese at Yunz Are yunz going to the game?
1993 K. C. Constantine Bottom Liner Blues 117 Sure sure I did. I called plenty of times, but younz never come. Never.
2006 Pittsburgh Post-Gaz. (Nexis) 24 Sept. h6 Yinz was drivin' pretty fast back there.

1885 ‘C. E. Craddock’ Prophet Great Smoky Mountains 7 I hev no call ter spen' words 'bout sech ez that, with a free-spoken man like you-uns.
1927 Amer. Speech 2 345 The paterfamilias questioned solicitously: Did you uns sleep good last night?
1934 W. Faulkner Dr. Martino 341 Why did you uns have to stop here?
1941 Amer. Mercury June 660/2 ‘Proud to know ye!’ Sam will beam. ‘Why, you-uns be a-comin' in ter th' fire an' set a spell.’
1996 J. Karon These High, Green Hills (1997) xi. 174 If they was anybody I'd do a favor, hit'd be you 'uns.


As mentioned in The Review:

Yuns” is a contraction of two words: “you ones,” as in, “You’uns come over here.”

"Yuns" is plural, it should be used in the same context as "you ones".

The pronunciation of the words being like "Y’all, You’uns, Yinz, Youse" only exists in certain regional dialects; thus, they're not standard and proper words in the dictionary.

Usage of "yuns" in a sentence:

Instead of:

How you ones doing? Long time no see!

You say:

how yuns doing? Long time no see!


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