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I hear from people greet saying "howdy". I guess that is short form of how do you do. I normally reply that "I am good and how are you doing?". Is there cultural specific reply that would give more appropriate meaning and value to the person who greeted first? I mean that instead replying just "I am good", would it be more value to reply "howdy" again?

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It depends to some degree on whether howdy is used as a question. Here in Texas, it seems to be synonymous with "Hello"; I've never heard it used as a question to ask how someone is doing. –  zpletan Apr 18 '12 at 16:35
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@zpletan, I agree. I think most people would look at you funny if you replied to "Howdy" as if it were a question. –  Kevin Apr 18 '12 at 18:22
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@NathanC.Tresch - I like to respond with "Yo.", a greeting that is used exclusively in the NorthEast (while Howdy is Southern). That removes all doubt. :-) –  T.E.D. Apr 18 '12 at 20:49
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@NathanC.Tresch, I grew up in Alabama and I have to disagree with you. –  Kevin Apr 18 '12 at 21:27
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You could try "doody". –  Optimal Cynic Apr 18 '12 at 23:25

5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

It's usually offered as more a greeting than a question, so any acknowledgment of a friendly greeting would be appropriate, such as:

Hello! How are you?

or,

Good morning!

or,

Hey! How's it going?

And then there's the standard "back at'cha" response:

Howdy!

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Your use of the authortative "It's" is inappropriate without a qualification, like, "It's more of a greeting than a question in most areas". –  user20276 Apr 18 '12 at 20:03
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@NathanC.Tresch: Qualification added. –  J.R. Apr 18 '12 at 21:11

Since there is no texan.stackexchange.com I'll address this here question here.

Howdy! can be replied to with just a nod and a smile. It simply means "Hi!" in Texan - not "How are you doing?".

Or you might reply, "Hey Y'all Doon?" if you want to engage in proper Texan interactions.

Replying in proper English, well pronounced, with each syllable clearly spoken, is HIGHLY discouraged.

Better, "Whazzup!" than "What are you up to?"

Better, "Mornin!", "Afternoon!", or "Evenin!" than "good morning", "good afternoon", or "good evening".

Responding with an answer to how you are doing is 100% counter-indicated - better to simply say "Greetings!" than to confuse the Texan in front of you with the answer to a question they did not ask.

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"Top of the Morning" is a wonderful answer.

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You'll need to elaborate more. What does 'top of the morning' mean? What contexts is it used? –  dwjohnston Jul 13 at 23:45

Depends where you are, although the few places I know of that use "Howdy" are places where those that say it do not expect a literal answer, I have heard it answered as if they did on occasion.

There is similar phenomenon between Irish english and British english with the phrase "How are you" or "how're ya" as its more commonly pronounced. In Britain it can start a full conversation on a persons various ailments whereas in Ireland it would be very unexpected to answer it with anything other than another "how're ya"

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+1 Geographically, it still means "how do you do" in some areas of the US, while in others if you answer that question most people won't even understand why you did. –  user20276 Apr 18 '12 at 19:56

Howdy is an infomal friendly greeting. so it asks about how are you. and you shoud reply with im good and then greet them back

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Hi, nitin, and welcome to EL&U. There are native speakers who contradict what you're saying. It would help greatly if you could support these comments with sources. Also, a quick tour of the help section on answers shed some light on the kinds of answers sought on this site. Thanks! –  medica Jun 15 at 8:15

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