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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||'Cheers' as a synonym for 'Hello'|
|Question:||In reading Peter Trudgill's ''On Dialect'' I was surprised to come across an assertion that 'cheers' could be a substitute for 'hello.' As a native speaker of British English (West Sussex) I have never heard of 'cheers' as a greeting. It has only ever meant 'thanks' or a way to sign off an informal email (but even then only to replace 'thanks' as well as a toast. I have asked several people from different regions and ages and they were all equally surprised. Would anyone care to offer an explanation or evidence of Trudgill's statement?|
|Reply:||Did Trudgill mention which region or era? I admit, I am more familiar with the usage you indicated, but dialects can vary. It's also possible that this regionalism has been absorbed into standard UK usage. For instance, a lot of Southern US dialects are being replaced by Standard U.S. so that patterns found a few decades ago may now be rarer, particularly in younger or urbanized speakers.|
|Reply From:||Elizabeth J Pyatt click here to access email|