Today I saw a birthday card which says:
Many, many happy returns of the day.
Can you help me understand what it means?
Part of the phrase has been truncated. The full statement would read:
"[I hope you have] many happy returns of the day."
"The day" is your birthday, and if it returns "many times" it means that you will live to be quite an old person.
Wikipedia explains the phrase as follows:
Another meaning could be that we are wishing that their birthday will return many more times - in other words, "May you live long".
This question is protected to prevent "thanks!", "me too!", or spam answers by new users. To answer it, you must have earned at least 10 reputation on this site.