I just bought a smoothie and the barista wrote the Spanish phrase "Éxitos" on my cup. My Spanish-speaking colleagues tell me this is wishing me success.

I'm trying to think of an analogous English phrase but I can't think of anything closer than "Good luck," which is a much more general meaning. Any ideas?

  • I'm afraid we might well be into the realm of platitudes (no pun intended) (All the best!, Best Wishes, Have a good day) or strange foreign-sounding exhortations (Go forth and prosper). Feb 2, 2015 at 20:55
  • 2
    May the bird of paradise fly up your nose, An elephant caress you with his toes . Is that too long to write on a cup?
    – WS2
    Feb 2, 2015 at 21:34
  • "Success!" would work fine in some circumstances. And there's a whole raft of platitudes generally aimed at high school graduates -- none are coming to mind right now, though.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 2, 2015 at 21:34
  • There may be some ideas you can mine from here: greetingcardpoet.com/graduation-card-messages
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 2, 2015 at 21:35
  • @HotLicks This is exactly the right meaning but so many words: I wish you the very best of luck in all your future endeavors. May success always find you.
    – Plato
    Feb 2, 2015 at 21:45

4 Answers 4


First, we should discard the easy translation of "success" because "success" is convenient but it is not a good interpretation in this context.

Second, if we look in a Spanish dictionary, we find some interesting things.


(Del lat. exĭtus, salida).

  1. m. Resultado feliz de un negocio, actuación, etc.

  2. m. Buena aceptación que tiene alguien o algo.

  3. m. p. us. Fin o terminación de un negocio o asunto.

--Real Academia Española

The etymology of the word is from Latin exĭtus "an exit". The third definition is merely the ending of a negotiation, transaction, or issue: there is no positive or negative connotation. The first two definitions, however, have specific, and positive, connotations. Feliz is happy, and buena is good. Therefore, when trying to find an analogous phrase in English, focus on endings or results (definition 1. "Resultado") that are happy or good. "Success" is only one incarnation of a happy or good result, so it is much too narrow as a starting point for your search.

Third, éxitos is the plural form. That might not matter, but it might help you find an analogous phrase.

Not a great fit

Because of the above, I am not a fan of "excelsior" because it speaks to a process, not a result. I do not think "good luck" is similar to éxitos because there does not seem to be an connotation of luck (suerte) in éxito.

"Have a good day" was one suggestion. In a comment, however, you wrote that the cup "also has 'Felíz día' [written on it] and a drawn picture of a kitty cat." Felíz día literally means "Happy day", of course. So, "have a good day" would be a redundant interpretation of éxitos.

"Happy trails!" is an old expression, but I do not think it a good fit because it refers to a process, rather than a result--but it is plural, which is an advantage.

Awkward, but accurate suggestions

  • All the best!
  • Best Wishes
  • Fare thee well!
  • Go forth and prosper

Implied "have"

I think one of the problems is that the Spanish word implies "have" éxitos, at least when translated into English. Therefore, most English phrases will lack the concision and poetry of a single word: éxitos.

Google translate suggests some interesting words:

  • success
  • prosperidad ("Go forth and prosper" is not a bad suggestion)
  • hit (as in a musical "hit")
  • accomplishment
  • achievement
  • realización
  • triumph
  • gloria
  • win


I cannot think of a good analogous English word or phrase, and I think you should invent something. Some ideas:

  • Be triumphant
  • [May you] realize your dreams (realización)
  • Have prosperity

My personal favorite right now is rooted in United States history, "win glorious triumphs," and all three words are potential interpretations of éxitos.

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

--Theodore Roosevelt (emphasis added)

  • 1
    "Godspeed", "Bring it on", "Ever victorious", "Win at life", "Venture forth", "Set course for triumph", "Rise to the occasion", "The sky's the limit"
    – Plato
    Feb 3, 2015 at 15:36

Excelsior, from the latin, at dictionary.com:

ever upward: motto of New York State.

  • And this is commonly used by waiters? Feb 2, 2015 at 22:45
  • @EdwinAshworth You've never met a nerdy, literary barista? Pretty thick on the ground round these parts. Feb 2, 2015 at 23:58

The word you're looking for is exactly what we would say to a friend who is about to enter a competition or who is just beginning his professional life. I can't come up with anything better than a prim "good luck" or "best of luck". Although "success" sounds natural in Spanish, "I wish you success", "hope you'll succeed", "I'm rooting for you", or "you will win" don't seem to be better messages than a simple "good luck".

  • How is repeating what OP says any advance? Feb 2, 2015 at 22:44
  • @EdwinAshworth sometimes it is necessary to show that there is no better choice. I've read your comments about other questions and answers, and also your own answers, and I wonder why you are so critical of what I write. There must be a reason. Be frank.
    – Centaurus
    Feb 2, 2015 at 23:16
  • If there is no better choice than OP's suggestion, a comment is quite adequate. Compare John Lawler's comment at the I wish there was? thread with 'I can't come up with anything better than a prim 'good luck' and ask which does more for the standing of a site aimed at 'serious linguists'. As Reg Dwight has said, '[W]e write stuff in comments that is too obvious to qualify for an answer.' After seeing the answers, I've close-voted. Feb 2, 2015 at 23:31

My first thought is the same as that of Centaurus: "good luck" or "best of luck." But we typically use those in reference to a specific endeavor, known by both speaker and listener.

Non-specifically, you might try:

Fare thee well! (a bit antiquated, I know)

All the best! (a bit too epistolary, perhaps)

Or, if we want something short and easy to write on a cup, although it doesn't really translate to "have success," is the increasingly popular and flexible:


Alternatively, and requiring a bit more ink:

May the Force be with you!

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