“How y’all doin’?” If you are rendering this common Southernism in print, be careful where you place the apostrophe, which stands for the second and third letters in “you.”

Note that “y’all” stands for “you all” and is properly a plural form, though some southern speakers treat it as a singular form and resort to “all y’all” for the plural. Most southerners reserve “all y’all” to mean “each and every one of you.” Then there is the occasional case in which the speaker is addressing someone representing a store or other institution composed of several people: “Do y’all sell shop vacs?”

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