Good afternoon! Conventional greetings aren’t always appropriate for the situation at hand; many times they may come off as too formal for the specific circumstances. Consider the phrase “Good Afternoon”, usually only heard between business acquaintances and at the beginnings of formal emails. What are some new and creative ways that one can say “Good Afternoon”, either to break monotonous formality or to facilitate a more comfortable and informal environment?
Other Ways to Say “Good Afternoon”
While this form of salutation isn’t particularly creative, it is a classic substitute for the often overused “Good Afternoon”. Stemming from the Old English term gretan, literally meaning “to come in contact with” or “to salute”, this salutation has been used in the English language for far longer than terms such as “Hi” and “Hello“. This term is tricky, as it can have two drastically different tones when used in different scenarios. In a formal setting, “Greetings” is a fairly common salutation used to show respect; you may often see it opening serious business-related emails and various other forms of formal communications. However, “Greetings” is not commonly used as a replacement for “Good Afternoon” in everyday conversations. Therefore, using this overly-formal term in a normally informal setting is usually for comedic purposes. The juxtaposition between a relaxed situation and this almost pompous-sounding term is sure to garner a few chuckles from those present.
“Greetings” in a Sentence:
- Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. – A more formal employment of the term.
- Greetings, fellow Earthlings! – An employment geared more towards comedic purposes.
Much like “Greetings”, this term oftentimes carries an overexaggerated connotation of stuck-up formality. It’s about as dated as you can get in terms of greetings; its origins can be traced all the way back to the 1530s. Even in formal communications, it is very rare to see a person using this term unironically. When used as a replacement for “Good Afternoon”, more often than not, it is for the purpose of comedy. Very few people nowadays employ this term, and its unexpected usage will be sure to pique a reader or listener’s attention.
“Salutations” in a Sentence:
Salutations, my dear comrades. – Employments of this term will most likely be over-the-top and ironic.
Unlike the previous two terms, this is far more commonly found in semi-formal and informal interactions. However, this term is specifically used in instances where one is addressing a group of people, as opposed to a single individual. The term “Hi” did not appear until the mid-1860s, making it one of the youngest greetings that is commonly used in the English language that is not outright slang.
By using this term in place of “Good Afternoon”, one can create an environment that is far more relaxed and forgiving when considering rules of proper social interaction. Members of a team will feel far more relaxed and comfortable with sharing thoughts and ideas, as the speaker/writer is not enforcing any particular hierarchy of authority, as the previous two salutations may tend to do. Overall, this greeting is one that is particularly helpful in facilitating a comfortable, yet mutually respecting environment.
“Hi everyone” in a Sentence:
Hi everyone, I’m just reaching out to see if we are still good for our meeting on the 14th. – While the greeting itself is not particularly formal, it still maintains the attitude that the speaker/writer has something of importance to address
Much like “Hi everyone”, this greeting serves to break down the unspoken barriers that can deter productive conversation in a formal environment. However, one should carefully consider the target audience when using this as a greeting; after all, your coworkers are your coworkers before they are your friends. Its use should be reserved for individuals that the speaker/writer is closely familiar with, and would be confident in identifying as their “friends”. If it is used in an inappropriate situation, one runs the risk of making the listener/reader uncomfortable if they do not interpret the relationship in the same way.
When used correctly, however, this substitution for “Good Afternoon”, can help to create a comfortable, positive environment. It creates a sense of trusting vulnerability between multiple parties while also maintaining a sense of mutual respect. If someone addressed you with this term, it is most likely because they see you as a party that they can trust and rely on.
“Hi friend(s)” in a Sentence:
Hi friend! How are you doing today? – The speaker/writer addresses the listener/reader as a person that they genuinely regard as a friend, regardless of the potential professional basis for the initial relationship. In this case, it is logical that they would then follow the greeting with an inquiry into the other party’s wellbeing before moving on to other topics.
Other Ways to Say “Good Afternoon” Infographic