Is the word folks in american english refers specifically to one´s parents?
But can also mean all/any of your family.
I did a search and these came up:
Merriam Webster gives: 5 folks plural : the persons of one's own family; especially : PARENTS
Dictionary of Americanisms gives: FOLKS. This old word is much used in New England instead of people or persons. 1. For the persons in one's family; as in this common phrase, 'How do your folks do?' that is, your family.
Compact OED gives: 2 (one’s folks) one’s family, especially one’s parents.
Encarta World Dict North American Edition gives: 3. parents or relatives: parents or close family.
So you can use it to refer to your parents or to your family on both sides of the Atlantic.
Last edited by Anglika; 10-Jun-2007 at 00:20. Reason: typo
I don't know about New England, but in the American South it's also used to mean people in the general sense. "Some folks like to put sugar in their cornbread, but my mama never did." "Most folks I've talked to seem to think the country is going to h*ll in a handbasket."
But as the dictionary example says, if the word is prefaced with "your" it means family, usually parents. For extended family, we might say "all your folks." "How'd all your folks down in Lafourche Parish make out after Katrina?"
Either usage is very informal.
thank you all very much for your help !