Which is correct? Y’all vs. Ya’ll vs. Y’awl

Y’all want to sound Southern? Then you’ll want to know when you sound wrong by misspelling the word.

Y’all is the correct spelling of this Southern expression. Though a contraction of “you all,” y’all usually is used as a plural form of “you,” as in Aunt Janie, you get the iced tea; Dawn and Missy, y’all set up the chairs.

Ya’ll is incorrect because the apostrophe represents the missing “ooo” sound created by the letters o and u. Writers probably use the ya’ll spelling because it phonetically matches how y’all sounds, but the use of an apostrophe would be nonsensical in the construction.

Y’awl perhaps is a better phonetic spelling. Still, yawl (without an apostrophe) is an actual word that means “cry out, howl or yell.” So using yawl or y’awl for y’all can be confusing to readers.