Greetings

I purchased a Random House Word Menu a while ago (second hand, published in 1992) which I have not really put to good use. So many words, so little time, but I thought I would take the time to show you some of the greetings we use in every day life. We all have our own, customised sometimes, greetings and they might differ depending on the person we are saying hello to. Such a universal thing isn’t it? To greet? Here goes.

Ahoy, all hail, bonjour, glad to see you, good to see you, greetings, hail, halloa, have a good one, hello, hello there, hey, hey-ho

Hi, hi there, hi ya, hola, how are you?, how do?, how do you do?, howdy, howdy-do, how d’ye do?, how goes it?, how’s by you? Howdy-doody

How’s everything?, how’s it going?, how’s the world treating you?, how’s things?, how you be?, how you been?, how you doing?, hullo, how’s life

Welcome, what it is?, what’s happening?, YO, what’s up, sup, howzit

Strange how we tailor our greetings according to the person standing in front of us in order to either create an impression, a familiarity, to make small talk or to hide nerves. I cannot imagine greeting a new employer with what’s up (well, I suppose if my boss was a pimp) and at the same time I cannot imagine greeting one of my best friends with How do you do.

I find Greetings interesting. Not just which type of greeting is used, but also the emotion behind it. It could be a ‘Hey! (so happy to see  you oh my god I have really missed you). It could be a ‘Hi. (Shit, this isn’t weed mom, I swear). Or, ‘Yo. (Let me push my chest out so you know not to mess with this). What about, ‘How’s life? (Because I really want to tell you how shit my life is right now). Greetings are the okay, now that that’s out of the way, lets talk. The foundation on which so many conversations start and the launch pad for which emotional tone they will take.

Stay tuned for my post on Insults, Slurs and Epithets, where we will come across words such as bananahead, basket case, bozo, deadhead, dimwit, dolthead (really?), dodo, easy mark, egghead, shit for brains and the list goes on. We all have our own rage-words, but one can never have too many.

Greetings from Cape Town

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