Since the English language has a number of idioms and phrases that involve references to religious figures (e.g., godspeed), I was wondering if there an English equivalent of the German greeting

Grüß Gott

which translates roughly as (see also here)

May God greet you

or any other greeting that originates from a religious context.

Edit: despite its literal meaning, the German Grüß Gott is used quite freely, even if no reference to God is intended.

  • 1
    Like God bless you or Wish you God's love?
    – user66974
    Dec 11, 2014 at 16:32
  • @Josh61 Exactly, but are those used as greetings? Dec 11, 2014 at 16:33
  • 4
    Somewhat related (but not an answer): goodbye is an old corruption of "God be with you", but it has since completely lost any religious connotation. "Goodbye" -- from an etymological perspective -- is incredibly close to "May God greet you" (but, of course, is a farewell).
    – apsillers
    Dec 11, 2014 at 16:34
  • 1
    Generally such phrases would only be used by someone who was openly religious. (Though "goodbye", as noted, no longer has a religious connotation.)
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 11, 2014 at 16:41
  • 1
    It only really applies to British English, but... "Gor blimey! Fancy meeting you here!". Plus of course there's "Speak of the Devil! Nice to see you!" Dec 11, 2014 at 17:19

2 Answers 2


Good day, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, good night

Per this dictionary,

All these greetings represent an abbreviation of the now obsolete God give you a good day (afternoon, etc.) , which dates from about 1200.

Look under 'Idioms and Phrases'.


Recently in America, there was a very temporary ban placed on uttering the greeting "Have a blessed day" at an Air Force base in Georgia. Several news outlets covered the story including Fox News; it seems that the phrase "Have a blessed day" was indeed used as a greeting to visitors and officers entering the base, rather than as a farewell.

Here is the initial article about the ban on the greeting in the Air Force Times. And here is the article announcing the reversal of the ban, published three hours later. In both, the phrase "Have a blessed day" is explicitly referred to as a greeting.

  • But that is not a common greeting anywhere except maybe by those few people in Georgia.
    – Mitch
    Jun 9, 2015 at 18:38
  • Hi Mitch, check the OP's question, they are seeking an English equivalent, not a common phrase. Also you might be interested to see that folks in Kentucky use the expression as well: fox19.com/story/25927380/have-a-blessed-day Thanks!
    – selovich
    Jun 10, 2015 at 6:31
  • The OP is seeking something like "Gruess Gott". If he didn't want a common phrase, then a direct translation would be sufficient, and he said he doesn't want that. Yours is a reasonable answer, because more than one person uses it, but I am adding the nuance that it is not at all a common greeting like "Gruess Gott" is in southern Germany. "Have a blessed day" is a very modern deliberate construction. It's like saying "Enjoy your meal" corresponds directly to "Guten Appetit".
    – Mitch
    Jun 10, 2015 at 12:44
  • Nice nuance, I get it!
    – selovich
    Jun 11, 2015 at 6:54
  • 'Bless you' after someone sneezes, though it doesn't correspond in meaning, corresponds to the other criteria: it is very common and few people think of it as having a religious connotation (and it uses the obvious 'bless').
    – Mitch
    Jun 11, 2015 at 12:33

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