Yugoslavs ( Serbo-Croatian: Jugoslaveni, Jugosloveni; Serbo-Croatian Cyrillic: Југославени, Југословени; Macedonian: Југословени; Slovene: Jugoslovani) is a designation that was originally designed to refer to a united South Slav people. It has been used in two connotations, the first in an ethnic or supra-ethnic connotation, and the second as a term for citizens of the former Yugoslavia. Cultural and political advocates of Yugoslav identity have historically ascribed the identity to be applicable to all people of South Slav heritage, including those of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, and the Republic of Macedonia. There had on three occasions been efforts to make Bulgaria a part of Yugoslavia or part of an even larger federation: through Aleksandar Stamboliyski during and after World War I; through Zveno during the Bulgarian coup d'état of 1934, and through Georgi Dimitrov during and after World War II, but for various reasons, each attempt turned out to be unsuccessful.
The term ethnic Yugoslavs has referred to those who exclusively viewed themselves as Yugoslavs with no other ethnic self-identification.
In the early days of Yugoslavia, influential intellectuals Jovan Cvijić and Vladimir Dvorniković advocated the Yugoslavs as a Yugoslav supra-ethnic nation that had tribal ethnicities, such as Croats, Serbs, and others within it.
In the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the official designation for those who declared themselves Yugoslav was with quotation marks, "Yugoslavs" (introduced in census 1971). Quotation marks were meant to distinguish Yugoslav ethnicity from Yugoslav citizenship – which was written without quotation marks. Shortly before the breakup of Yugoslavia many of those who had identified themselves as ethnic "Yugoslavs" reverted to or adopted traditional ethnic and national identities such as Bosniaks, Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Muslims by nationality, Serbs, Slovenes—and other small Yugoslav groups in Yugoslavia not officially represented by the state, including Bulgarians, Bunjevci, Janjevci, and Šokci. Some also decided to turn to sub-national regional identifications, especially in multi-ethnic historical regions like Istria, Vojvodina, or Bosnia (hence Bosnians). The Yugoslav designation, however, continues to be used by many, especially by the descendants of Yugoslav immigrants to United States, Canada and Australia.