Dublin sayings: Y'all and yous
The use of the word 'you' deserves a special page and I thank Chris O'Dania for his great contribution to cultural understanding! Firstly, let Chris explain the use of that word in Texas, USA:
(By the way, the slower talking West Texans usually say "You all," leaving "Y'all" to faster talkers.) Examples:
1. Peter and John are talking. No one else is listening:
2. Peter is talking to John and John's entire family:
3. Peter and Catherine are talking to John and Sue:
Dubliners will typically distinguish the plural by specifying "Yous". This often transforms to "yez/yiz" in usage such as "Yez are a bunch of big girls' blouses" =you are a group of effeminate men! Chris observes that the use of the word 'you' creates problems and that different countries and regions have devised ways to overcome it. In the Irish countryside the older generation will still use 'ye' as the old plural construction of 'you' as in "Well look at ye!"
Rachel from Philadelphia, USA tells me the following - many thanks indeed: "The pluralized version of "you" is used frequently in the Philadelphia and New York County metro areas as well. I didn't know anyone else said it as we often get teased for it by ANYONE not from our area of the US! We take it a step further by combining it with "guys" as in "What are yous guys doin' tonight?" AND, that being said, "guys" is not gender specific when used in that manner.
In the north of England the constructions 'thou' [= 'you' singular] and 'thee' [='you' plural] are still used by the older generation (although not in Ireland to my knowledge).