My grandma uses this phrase. Whenever she says something nice about one of her (eight) great grandchildren, she always follows up with "they all are."
Example: My daughter rocked out on a standardized test. Grandma says "C is so smart! They all are!" My nephew is a really affectionate five year old--he wants nothing more than a lap to sit in. He gives an inordinate number of hugs and kisses. Grandma says "D is so sweet! They all are." (my own son is a lot of things, and "sweet" in his own way, but "sweet" like his cousin...not so much!)
I thought this was something peculiar to Grandma. She's big on fairness and equality...but then one of the characters in a book I'm reading used the same phrase in the same context, and I started wondering if it was a cultural thing I hadn't noticed.
I wanted to take a poll at the playground today (y'know, just asking strangers,) but I was afraid people would think I was weird, so I didn't. MDC is the next best (or maybe better!) thing.
So, tell me! Have you ever heard anyone use "they all are" in this context?