We know how to spell and pronounce wooder, but what about the word Philadelphians use even more frequently. Let’s talk about you. The plural “you.”
Fresh off the phone with a source sporting an authentic Philly accent, innovations reporter Zack Seward posed this question to the newsroom: How do you spell Philly’s plural version of the word “you”?
“Y-O-U-S-E!” said Chris Satullo, our vice president for news and civic dialogue. He said he’s never seen it spelled without the E.
I think I wagged my finger at him from across the room. “There is no E!”
We’re a newsroom divided.
“I think it’s ‘youse,'” behavioral health reporter Maiken Scott wrote. “Why? Because it already makes no sense, and the extra E adds flair.”
But reporter Mark Eichmann, who is a South Jersey native, and NewsWorks Tonight producer Shai Ben-Yaacov, who hails from Northwest Philly, lobby for Y-O-U-S. What would be the need for a silent E? Shouldn’t we just spell it Y-E-W-Z?
City reporter Tom MacDonald had a two-word answer. “Youse guys.”
And there was one other point from reporter Elizabeth Fiedler. Yinz. Yiz. Yehz. Yuhz. How many people really pronounce the plural “you” as yewz?
Our Facebook fans had plenty to say about it, including this point we may have overlooked: Wouldn’t “youse” rhyme with “mouse”?
We want to know: How do you spell (and pronounce) Philly’s plural “you”?