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I heard sometimes to say 'we're going to have us a beer'. Is this correct? Should it be avoided in standard English? Is it only colloquial?

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    'Let's get a beer' / 'Let's get ourselves a beer' are still colloquial but common. I'd say 'We'll have us a beer' is more colloquial, and less widespread. Aug 22 '15 at 10:53
  • Connecting this entry to my previous one, in which I asked about the use of the past participle "done" instead of simple past "did", i found the following lyrics written by the popular group "America" of the seventies (Pitgeon song): "Well, I had me a pigeon by the name of Fred But I done shot him in the head Had me a railroad down on the ridge But I done blowed up the bridge" unquote. Clearly they are using a dialect. Can we translate then "done" by "had to" ? And, what about "had me a dog"? Does it mean: I had a dog?
    – Goggle Gobbled Tongue
    Aug 22 '15 at 21:27
  • 'Let's get ourselves a beer' sounds stilted to my ear (Am English). A construction worker would not say this to his buddy after a hard day's work. He'd say 'Let's go get a beer' or, more enthusiastically, 'Let's go get us a beer!' Aug 23 '15 at 22:57
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In America, you'd more often hear "We're going to have beers", or "We're going out to have a beer" or "We're going out for beer" or "We're going out for beers".

"Have us a beer" would be understood, but not common in the US, and if someone said it like that, I'd expect it to be delivered with amusement in the person's tone, because the person is probably being jocular. It wouldn't be used casually.

I don't know how common the phrase is in British English.

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    Likewise in the UK, it would be understood, but not commonly used.
    – David Garner
    Aug 21 '15 at 15:57
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    I'd have thought Americans are much more likely than Brits to say We're gonna have us a party!. It sounds quintessentially American to me, and Google NGrams doesn't find enough instances to even graph that one with the BrE corpus. Aug 21 '15 at 16:31
  • @FumbleFingers - It's used in fiction. I believe it might also be a part of AAVE. Outside of that it's not common.
    – Zwi
    Aug 21 '15 at 16:44
  • @Zwi: It's used all over the place. Just not that common, and for no obvious reason it's considered somewhat "sub-standard, uneducated" by many. A lot of such usages are labeled AAVE in the US simply because that's an easily-identified group of speakers who frequently ignore mainstream preferences. Similar to the way people label non-standard UK usages "Cockney", even if they're not particularly associated with "uneducated Londoners". Aug 21 '15 at 16:50
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    Hmm, note "we're gonna have us some sun" in a recent article on beer gardens in the London (UK) 'chatty' newspaper, Metro. Gonna have us has definitely 'arrived' in the UK.
    – Julie Carter
    Aug 21 '15 at 18:30
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In the City of London it would be considered terrible or, worse, not English.

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  • Possibly un-English.
    – TimLymington
    Aug 22 '15 at 16:32
  • Connecting this entry to my previous one, in which I asked about the use of the past participle "done" instead of simple past "did", i found the following lyrics written by the popular group "America" of the seventies (Pitgeon song): "Well, I had me a pigeon by the name of Fred But I done shot him in the head Had me a railroad down on the ridge But I done blowed up the bridge"
    – Goggle Gobbled Tongue
    Aug 22 '15 at 21:18
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Standard English, no. 'Have us' or 'Get us' violates multiple grammatical rules. Same for the singular constructs, 'Have me' or 'Get me'.

However, it's descended directly from the language of low-class Scottish speakers, who brought it to the US (often as criminals or destitute work-seekers) and spoke it as a standard dialect in Appalachia and the Antebellum South. Within the accents where these are spoken, they conform perfectly with the grammar. In the US, it's strongly associated with white hillbillies, rednecks, and okies, the closest there is to a white underclass in the States. This exact same construct still exists in Scottish today, though not nearly as commonly, except that it'd likely be "we'll have us a pint."

From there, it most likely spread to AAVE. In the South in particular, there was an enormous mixing of language between lower-class whites and blacks (who were all lowest-class by default) up until the postwar period. They coexisted and inhabited the same spaces. The Great Migration spread Southern dialects into Northern and Western cities, bringing us the common AAVE we know now.

In the media, it's commonly portrayed as the speech of a caricature of a low-class person, but where I live, in Central California, home of descendants of many okies, it's not an uncommon construction. Sometimes it's a joke, but a number of people here still speak that way unironically every day.

This same accent is where 'Gonna' came from, and the two often pair up.

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