3
votes
1answer
71 views

Does the “elbow-handshake” have any relation to the phrase “rubbing elbows”?

This is probably answerable with a general reference (or a pair of such references), but I have not been able to find one. Etymology Online does not cover the origin of "rubbing-elbows" as meaning ...
10
votes
9answers
7k views

What do you mean when you ask “How are you?”

I have been asked one simple question many times by Americans: "How are you?". I know this does not mean that the person I am talking to wants to know how I feel, but sometimes I see that they repeat ...
2
votes
0answers
266 views

“Season's greetings” or “Seasoned greetings” [closed]

Today I heard the phrase "Seasoned greetings." Is this just some clever word play on the traditional "Season's greetings," meant to mean greetings spiced up with seasoning, or is it a legitimate ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Meaning/origin of “You bet” as a response to “Thank you”

In a radio show (such as APM Marketplace), when a host interviews a guest, the conversation ends with the host saying "Thank you" and the guest saying something similar in response. Usually it is ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

What are exchanges like “How are you,” “I'm fine,” and “See you later” called?

Some verbal/written exchanges convey almost no meaning but are part of the protocol of conversation. For example, somebody greets you with "How are you?" and they're not usually not listening for ...
6
votes
6answers
10k views

“Good night” or “good evening”?

If it's 7:30pm, which of these phrases is correct, Good night or Good evening?