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Today as I was transferring trains in Nagoya the station attendant was shouting repeatedly「ありがとうございや」. Doing a search on the internet revealed that this seems to be a shorted form of ありがとうございやした but I have never heard of this before.

Is this from a specific dialect/age group/group Is it's usage just a simple replacement of 「ま」in 「~ました」 Can this be done to any verb, or is it limited to 「る」ending verbs that conjugate to 「い」in 丁寧語 (polite speech)?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It might be ありがとうございやす with devoiced す. ございやす, whose meaning is the same as ございます, was used in the Edo dialect in the 16th–19th centuries, and seems to be still in use in the Ibaraki dialect. I do not think that either ありがとうございや or ありがとうございやす is used in the Nagoya dialect.

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I have thought without much grounds that this is an Edo word (江戸言葉). You can see it in 時代劇 such as 水戸黄門. But this also seems to be a 役割語 'stereotyped role words' that is assumed to be used by a lower-rank gangster/thief against the leader of the group. I am not sure whether it is actually so. I am surprised to hear that it is heard in present Nagoya.

This form is applied to any verb.

金庫を開けやした、親分。[consonant verb]
'I opened the safe, my leader.'

茂吉の奴をここで見やした。 [vowel verb]
'I saw the guy Mokichi here.'

奴が来やした。 [irregular verb]
'The guy just arrived.'

物(ぶつ)を手配しやした。 [irregular verb]
'I made an arrangement for the thing.'

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