Everyday English Expressions and Greetings
There are very many ways of greeting someone in England. Likewise, there are numerous ways of acknowledging something and bidding someone farewell. Expressions and sayings can be fashionable and can also be geographically specific.
Let's start with the various forms of saying 'thank you' coupled with the very many ways of saying 'friend':
A common way in England is to say cheers or cheers mate....or possibly even cheers matey which simply means thank you friend. An alternative to this is thanking you which while not formal or necessarily grammatically correct, is a nice method of informally expressing your gratitude.
The word tar is also an English form of thanks and is a quick and simple way to show gratitude.
Cheers, tar and thanks can also be followed up with soft and cute words like sweetpea, duck, cherub, angel, petal and sweety. Likewise you can say dear, darling, luv and sweetheart.
Cheers luv simply means thanks to you but is much more endearing and cuter even. This I would say can be used by both genders but to the opposite gender. So a man or woman would say this to the opposite sex. On rare occasions a man could say this to another man, but this is quite rare and makes some men wince or feel uncomfortable
Saying thanks, tar or cheers duck doesn't mean someone expects you to quack It again means thanks to you and is generally used by the older generation. I would say largely by the older female generation, and it is just a nice and soft way of showing their appreciation for something.
Dear is very similar and is used by older folk. Historically dear was used more lovingly and romantically even. Nowadays it is used as an older person's method of putting across their appreciation for a favour or act of kindness. An example being to help an old lady with her shopping and in return one might expect to receive a thanks dear.
The words sweety, sweetpea, cherub, angel and darling are used by both sexes also and are a sign of affection. These can be used between friends but in the case of darling I would say between boyfriend and girlfriend or married couples more often than not.
The words cherub and angel basically mean the same thing, with angel being much more popular and well known. I would say that angel is slighly stonger and sweeter even and one might use this with a partner more than a friend.
Sweety and sweetpea to me are used more by females I would say. They simply and softly project gratitude in a soft and even timid kind of way.
So, if you ever hear any of the above words, note that you aren't expected to quack. In the case of luv and sweety etc, a person isn't expressing their love for you. These are all just nice, soft and endearing ways of finishing a thank you or showing appreciation.
In addition to these frequently used words, English also has many terms and expressions to say goodbye amongst other things:
In a bit is a modern popular way of saying see you soon. There is nothing wrong with the well known see you in a while crocodile but everyday English definitely uses in a bit and expressions like see ya soon or catch you later much much more.
A question I've been asked repeatedly is what to say before a meal and the answer is threefold:
in England people use enjoy your meal, the French bon appetite or even tuck in. Bon appetite is arguably the most common and other popularish alternatives are grubs up and let's start.
When it comes to drinking, cheers is the most used but you may also hear down the hatch and expressions like down it, down it in one, supp it, I'm nursing my drink which means to drink slowly (perhaps due to a hang over).
Last but not least, I would recommend the following to thank a host for a great meal or party. Please note that some of these are said a bit tongue in cheek and somewhat informally as are most of this articles words and expressions. So an example would be:
That was splendid and tremendous, That spread was amazing, cheers!, I couldn't have made a better myself, Your cooking is better than my mother's, but don't tell her that! and yummy yummy yummy I've got love in my tummy!.
I hope these prove useful and please don't be perturbed if and when you hear a word or phrase that is seemingly out of place or context. More often than not there's just another meaning from a dictionary explanation, and this is shown most clearly I think by the word luv. Just to repeat, it doesn't mean someone loves you, it merely expresses friendship and perhaps gratitude. I would use this maybe 50 times a day and I'm convinced I don't love that many people