Date: Fri, 14 Jul 1995 08:32:21 -0700 From: Peter McGraw Subject: Re: For "he says", like "he's all" or "he goes" or "he's like" (fwd) I forwarded Jim Ague's message on this topic to my son for his amusement, and think his response might interest some on the list. Any comment from AAVE specialists out there? (Note: the middle school he refers to [in Yellow Springs, Ohio] was a harmoniously integrated school in which middle-class black students were a sizeable minority and seemed to be the trend-setters.) Peter McGraw Linfield College McMinnville, OR ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Thu, 13 Jul 95 22:02:49 PDT From: Patrick McGraw To: pmcgraw[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Subject: Re: For "he says", like "he's all" or "he goes" or "he's like" (fwd) I suspect these usages are not originally from California, but from Black English. Especially when I was in Middle School, people would often follow "He's like" with not just words, but gestures indicating what someone was doing. The phrase indicates that what follows is an imitation. "He's all" probably has similar origins-- it can also come before an adjective or a description, e.g., "He's all pissed 'cause I didn't invite him." I imagine the usage with a quotation is an extension of this.