What is the origin of Northern Blacks (USA) using the word "stay" in place of the word "live"?
I have noticed that white folks will say “I live in x neighborhood,” whereas I hear Black folks saying, “I stay in x neighborhood.” The first time I heard it, I thought the individual was referencing a temporary living arrangement, but now I have heard this from a number of other people and gather that “stay” replaces “live” in the sentence. I have even noticed if the question is posed, “Where do you live?” the response might be “Oh, I stay in x neighborhood.”
As I said above, I thought it may have been a reference to a temporary living arrangement, but I have also heard it from people who have lived in the same house for 20 years.
This may also be seen elsewhere, but I have only noticed it among Northern Blacks in the US over the past 5–10 years. What is the origin of this expression? Do people hear this in other regions of the US/English-speaking world?
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