+1
I learned of this non-standard use of the word 'them' lately, as in:

"Let's eat them burgers"

I like this a lot, it's funny. Now my question is, what kind of people usually say it? Old people, young people, certain subcultures, races, etc.? Is it considered old-fashioned? I remember it being used a lot in country songs, is it something people from the countryside use often? Is it used in AmE or BrE? In what situations is it considered appropriate? Do you use it yourself?
1 2
Comments  
It is informally common. It may have started in African-American Vernacular English (AAVE), but it has spread into the general population.
geoyoI like this a lot, it's funny.
I like the German football team a lot. They are intense and focused.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
That is very interesting, I didn't know that. Do you use it yourself, AlpheccaStars? If it originates from African-Americans, isn't it considered strange when a white person uses it?
geoyoisn't it considered strange when a white person uses it?
Nope. Not in informal situations. I remember this little ditty from childhood.

e54m6XOpRgU
That is very cute Emotion: smile
I noticed they even used 'dem' instead of 'them'. Isn't that even more of a thing a black person would do? Because I remember this being used a lot in reggae songs. If someone said 'dem' I would immediately assume him to be of African descent.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
geoyoI noticed they even used 'dem' instead of 'them'. Isn't that even more of a thing a black person would do?
It originated in the eye dialect used by Joel Chandler Harris, a Southern writer in the late 1800s. The Uncle Remus stories were very popular. They were read to children, used by Walt Disney in cartoons. Nowadays, they are probably considered politically incorrect, which is a shame.

He know'd dat man wuz gwineter shoot Mars Jeems ef he could, en dat wuz mo'n I could stan'. Manys en manys de time data I nuss dat boy, en hilt 'im in dez arms, en toted 'im on dis back..

Tar Baby

riRMqNtl3ow
That is very interesting, I didn't know. Thank you AlpheccaStars. It's very hard to understand for me, though. I have to guess a lot of the meanings. It reminds me of a day in school when we read a story written by an African-American slave. He didn't learn English in school so he taught it by himself. The language he used was similar to this.
geoyo I learned of this non-standard use of the word 'them' lately, as in:"Let's eat them burgers"I like this a lot, it's funny. Now my question is, what kind of people usually say it? Old people, young people, certain subcultures, races, etc.? Is it considered old-fashioned? I remember it being used a lot in country songs, is it something people from the countryside use often? Is it used in AmE or BrE? In what situations is it considered appropriate? Do you use it yourself?
It is used in the UK in uneducated speech and in certain dialects. I don't get the feeling that the UK usage is an import from the US or originates in African-American speech. My feeling is that it has been around for longer than such influence would have been felt, and in communities where it is unlikely to have been felt.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Show more