Is there any word in English that you should use when you want to say :


for a person and both of you know that you'll never see again?

"Farewell" ?

or Something else?

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    My grandmother, on her deathbed, realizing it was her last moments, turned to my cousin (her grandchild) and said, simply "Have a nice life, dear". Then died. – Dan Bron Feb 28 '16 at 2:01
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    The answer seems to be in your title. – user140086 Feb 28 '16 at 4:33
  • "Hey! Look over there!". Then turn and run. – jimm101 Mar 18 '16 at 19:21
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    "So long sucka!" – Mitch Mar 18 '16 at 20:13
  • If you are of a religion that believes in life after death or reincarnation, say "Hasta la vista". – Hot Licks Mar 18 '16 at 20:26

I think "Farewell" is the best you can do in English. It's a blessing for a good future and it carries a lot of emotion. "Goodbye" started out as a blessing, but now it usually means "'til next time" and it's a polite way to take one's leave. You might say "Goodbye" to your wife when you leave in the morning, but if you said "Farewell" she would wonder whether you were ever coming back.


Besides Farewell which seems to me the more appropriate, how about So Long, au revoir (French, but you might see it in English as well), adios or adieu?

In some movies when two characters know that they won't meet again, they say Later, which is a hopeful kind of goodbye, because it implies that you might see each other again (even though you won't)

If you are best buddies with the departing person, you might use an informal word like cheerio.

Or you might turn farewell into a sentence like I fare you well.

  • Addendum for my first suggestion: And thanks for all the fish – Shevliaskovic Feb 28 '16 at 17:08
  • Doesn't au revoir mean roughly "until we see each other again"? It's the punchline of a World War II comedy dialogue by Beyond the Fringe, where Perkins (a flyer) is assigned to a suicide mission by his commanding officer because "We need a futile gesture just now. It'll raise the whole tone of the war." Perkins bravely accepts the assignment and then says, "Well, goodbye, sir—or perhaps it's just 'au revoir.'" Commanding Officer: "No, Perkins!" – Sven Yargs Mar 10 '16 at 7:34
  • Not sure "I fare you well" is a valid sentence. – Jim Jul 2 '16 at 19:02

"God Be With Ye." (Longform of Goodbye)

"Godspeed/God speed you."

In a different way than Sayonara, I think these are more like "I will not see you again for at least a very long time, so I will invoke God."

"Farewell" in this sense is a little weak, I think.


There really isn't a specific word for this in the English language itself, this is even used in the BBC program "Doctor Who" as a way to develop the main character, who says that he "always hates goodbyes" because he believes that saying goodbye means you will never see someone again.

As some other answerers have noted, words such as "sayonara" are often used to communicate finality, but other than that "goodbye for the last time" can only really be effectively said with the aid of context or tone of voice. The term "farewell" can, on occasion, be used for this but again, requires context. The word is actually a medieval word for wishing someone a good journey: literally to "travel well"


Or, if you and your friend are both fans of Dr. Strangelove- you can sing We'll Meet Again", Not a single word- but very specific to reference, person and relationship.


Sayonara. I have no idea why, but there is a definite sense of finality about it.

Japanese for 'goodbye'; however, it carries more finality. Instead of being used at the end of a day, as in "Goodbye see you tomorrow," it would be used in situations where you will either not see the person for a long time, if ever again.

From urban dictionary. Sometimes you find exactly what you are looking for.

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    It carries a finality in English, at least to people over 60 or so, in large part due to a 1957 movie by that name, and also probably due to the use of the term in various WWII movies. – Hot Licks Feb 28 '16 at 5:00
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    (In the WWII movies the term was sometimes used in much the same way as the more recently familiar "Hasta la vista, baby!") – Hot Licks Feb 28 '16 at 15:11

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