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Who says "Have a good one!"?!!!?!
September 23, 2009 9:38 AM   Subscribe

I almost never heard "Have a good one!" (in place of "Have a nice day!") until I moved to central NY - now I hear it at least once a day. Is it a semi-regionalism, a semi-neologism, or is this just confirmation bias?

So...I grew up in the Great Lakes region, and spent a good amount of time in Kansas and Colorado during college. During that time, I don't recall hearing "Have a good one!" much, if at all. I moved to Syracuse, NY about 3 years ago and immediately noticed tons of people using this expression. I've done a bit of looking around on this, and have found this references attributing this expression to paratroopers originally (i.e. 'have a good landing!')...so I assume it's been around awhile.

Do people in your area use this expression? Is it more of an East coast thing? Something that crops up in proximity to military bases (Fort Drum isn't that far away from me)? Is it that I'm just now noticing it?

Hoping this isn't too 'chat-filtery' - I really like regional vernacular and would like to know if this qualifies.
posted by Knicke to Writing & Language (58 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I say it and hear it daily in Minnesota. You betcha.
posted by ShadePlant at 9:39 AM on September 23, 2009


I'm from Kansas, and I heard it all the time there. I also hear it all the time now that I live in California. I'm voting Confirmation Bias.
posted by katillathehun at 9:41 AM on September 23, 2009


Middle of flyover country here. Say it all the time.
posted by piedmont at 9:41 AM on September 23, 2009


I grew up in Central NY and now live in Buffalo NY. I hear it and say it all the time.
posted by LightMayo at 9:41 AM on September 23, 2009


I live in Michigan and I say it all the time. I assume I hear it from others but I hadn't ever paid much attention. I'll keep my ears open, now :).
posted by Juffo-Wup at 9:41 AM on September 23, 2009


Common in Missouri.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:43 AM on September 23, 2009


I'm in Philadelphia, no meaningful exposure to military bases before a couple of years ago, heard it all the time.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:43 AM on September 23, 2009


My life has taken me from North Carolina to Iowa to Illinois to Massachusetts. I don't recall a time/place when it sounded novel or strange to me, and I tend to notice regionalisms pretty quick. I too say/hear it on a regular basis.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:44 AM on September 23, 2009


I lived in South Jersey and I heard it all the time. I still say it all the time..
posted by QueenHawkeye at 9:44 AM on September 23, 2009


Oddly, I hear that more in LA than in NYC. I don't think it's regional.
posted by rokusan at 9:44 AM on September 23, 2009


Back in the 80s and 90s I only heard this in somewhat more rural parts of California and in various locations in Oregon. Nowadays you run across the phrase all over the place.
posted by majick at 9:44 AM on September 23, 2009


Common in the SE United States, often as "Have a good'un."
posted by TedW at 9:45 AM on September 23, 2009


It's common in New England, too, although my observation is that there are some age and class distinctions involved.
posted by briank at 9:47 AM on September 23, 2009


Dang! I guess I've been completely unobservant until recently. Thank all for your swift reporting!
posted by Knicke at 9:48 AM on September 23, 2009


I'd also suspect it comes from "have a good day" instead of "have a good landing." Substituting "one" for "day" makes the phrase roll off the tongue a lot easier.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:48 AM on September 23, 2009


I use it in CA.
posted by zeoslap at 9:51 AM on September 23, 2009


Dang! I guess I've been completely unobservant until recently. Thank all for your swift reporting!


Fuhgetaboutit!
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:51 AM on September 23, 2009


Growing up in Australia, I heard it all the time.
posted by different at 9:53 AM on September 23, 2009


Lived in Milwaukee and Chicago. Heard it more in Milwaukee. (In Chicago it's translated as "Get the fuck out of my way.")
posted by desjardins at 9:54 AM on September 23, 2009


From Texas, hear it all the time. I've also heard many people cite it as a pet peeve for some reason.
posted by ishotjr at 10:00 AM on September 23, 2009


Born and raised in Manhattan and hear and use it daily. I don't trust people who don't use it.
posted by dfriedman at 10:08 AM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hear it all the time. Comedian Rita Rudner, I think, used to do a long bit on this phrase, with the line "I don't even know what 'one' is!"
posted by Mngo at 10:09 AM on September 23, 2009


Common in the UK also.
posted by plep at 10:09 AM on September 23, 2009


Olympia, WA. Have a good one.
posted by stenseng at 10:11 AM on September 23, 2009


Then there's the variant "have a better one." Perfect for saying to the cashier who just helped you but who right before you had to deal with some grade-A dickhead.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:16 AM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why it means "Take her easy", of course.
posted by Palerale at 10:20 AM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Doesn't sound strange to me (and I've probably said it before without thinking). Middle of Maryland.
posted by sperose at 10:26 AM on September 23, 2009


Fairly common in Vancouver BC
posted by stray at 10:38 AM on September 23, 2009


Not quite as common as "take it easy" is here in Southern California, but not unheard of.
posted by slow graffiti at 10:41 AM on September 23, 2009


It's pretty common in Phoenix. I try to avoid saying it, though, because it sounds like something Lumbergh from Office Space would say (I'm not sure if the character actually said it in the movie).
posted by benatkin at 10:49 AM on September 23, 2009


Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta: Yes.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:03 AM on September 23, 2009


Very common in south Louisiana, with appropriate accent, of course.
posted by tryniti at 11:13 AM on September 23, 2009


I've heard it a lot in northern and southern British Columbia as well as southern Ontario.
posted by synecdoche at 11:19 AM on September 23, 2009


Common in Texas. Common sassy reply: "They're ALL good."
posted by 23skidoo at 11:44 AM on September 23, 2009


I hear it all over Canada, form sea to shining sea. I usually reply "I already do."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:46 AM on September 23, 2009


Common throughout Pennsylvania. I vividly recall an old boss of mine would always respond, "I already GOT a good one; now I just need a LONGER one," no matter how inappropriate the situation.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:54 AM on September 23, 2009


I've stopped saying it...it's lost it's meaning like, "Have a nice day" has...and has acquired a weird sexual undertone as alluded to by several commentators.
posted by Muirwylde at 12:10 PM on September 23, 2009


"has acquired a weird sexual undertone"

Now THAT sounds like a regionalism, because, yeah, wow. No.
posted by majick at 12:14 PM on September 23, 2009


Pretty common expression here in St. John's, Newfoundland as well.
posted by futureisunwritten at 12:15 PM on September 23, 2009


It's pretty common in Rochester, though we're technically Western NY.
posted by tommasz at 12:32 PM on September 23, 2009


Chicago--yes.
posted by stormpooper at 12:46 PM on September 23, 2009


When I go back home to Central NJ/Metro New York, I hear it a lot more than I do in New England.
posted by Miko at 12:52 PM on September 23, 2009


New England here; I said it a lot as a kid. I sometimes still say it.

posted by coolguymichael:
"Common throughout Pennsylvania. I vividly recall an old boss of mine would always respond, "I already GOT a good one; now I just need a LONGER one," no matter how inappropriate the situation."

...from George Carlin's "Hello Goodbye" sketch (1986):
Hi, howdy, hello, how are ya, how do ya do, how ya doin, how's it goin, what's goin on, what's new, whatdya think, whatdya hear, whatdya say, whatdya feel, what's shakin, what's happenin, que pasa, what's goin down, what it is. Well we got all kinds of ways to say hello. We've got lots of ways to say hello. You know what my favorite is? "How's you hammer hangin?" That's a good one, isn't it? Doesn't work to well with women. Unless you're talking to a female carpenter, then it's all right. I"ve always wanted to say that one to a high church official. "Good evening, Your Holiness, how hangs the hammer?" So far, haven't had that opportunity.

Then there's one way to say hello that I really don't care for, one way I really don't like. You know some people will say to you, "are they keepin ya busy?" As if someone has the right to come up and give me odd jobs. They say "are they keepin ya busy?", I say, "Well, your wife is keeping me pretty busy, I'll tell ya that." And that seems to hold em for about a half hour. Then there's a lot of ways to say goodbye, we've figured out all kinds of ways to say goodbye, too. We say bye bye, so long, see ya later, take it easy, be cool, hang loose, stay in there, ya know what my favorite is? "Don't get run over." Well, some people need practical advice.
Some guys'll say to ya, "hey, have a good one", I say hey, I already have a good one. Now I'm lookin for a longer one. And that seems to hold em for about half an hour.

Then ya have all the foreign words to say goodbye. Some guys when they're leavin ya they think they gotta get tricky. And they'll whip an "arivederche" on ya. Or Avoir or Avwhiderzein or Adios. Or the American version of that one, "Adios, mothafucker!" OR Aloha. That's a nice one isn't it, aloha, they say that in Hawaii of course. It means hello and goodbye. Which just goes to show if you spend to much time in the sun, you don't know whether you're comin or goin.

Then have you noticed this, you get in a rut with the way you say goodbye. You ever find yourself using the same phrase over and over again with everybody, you feel a little stupid. LIke if your leavin a party, and you have to say goodbye to five people, you say "ok, hey take it wasy, ok hey take it easy, ok hey take it easy..", you feel like a goddamn moron, ya know. SO you know what I do? Every month I change the way I say goodbye. Whether I need to or not, every month I start usin a different phrase. People notice that. They appreciate that extra effort. They'll say to me, "Pardon me, didn't you used to say, 'Ok, hey take it easy'". I say, "yes I did. but not anymore." Now I say, "Farewell". Farewell, til we meet again, peace be with you, may the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. That's a strong one isn't it? People will remember you if you talk like that. Then sometimes you can combine certain ways to say goodbye that don't really seem to go together, like, "Toodle-oo, go with God, and don't take any wooden nickles." Then people don't know what the fuck you're talking about! Or you can say goodbye in a realistic manner. "So long Steve, don't let self-doubt interfere with plans to improve your life." Well, some people need practical advice.
posted by not_on_display at 1:27 PM on September 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Saskatchewan checking in, its common here.
posted by Deep Dish at 1:32 PM on September 23, 2009


I like "have a good one" because it substitutes for have a good day, have a good evening, have a good weekend, have a good morning, have a good week, etc. So if I don't know when I'll see someone again, I don't have to try to pick one. California, but might have picked it up in Connecticut.
posted by Lady Li at 1:33 PM on September 23, 2009


Alberta, Canada, and I say it all the time, although I did spend a year in Utah, and 2 years in europe living with americans.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:53 PM on September 23, 2009


I hear it frequently in Michigan.
posted by paulg at 2:11 PM on September 23, 2009


I hear it a fair amount here in Vermont and I day it occasionally. I grew up in MA.
posted by jessamyn at 2:25 PM on September 23, 2009


Also from Michigan, and also common. BUT the incidence is way up over the last, perhaps, four or five years. It was a lot less common before then.

In the same vein, waitstaff at restaurants have begun asking "How are things tasting?" in the last 18 months or so. I never heard this before then. And it is a little annoying.
posted by megatherium at 2:55 PM on September 23, 2009


FYI, I know from experience a lot of cashiers say it because in the monotony of the job it's easy to lose track of the time of day (see also: working in an artificially-lit grocery store for 9 hours) and with "have a good one!" we don't get called out for using "have a good morning!" at 3pm. Use it, love it.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:36 PM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've heard and used it in Australia for a couple of decades..... though, in 'Strine, it's usually pronounced "avagoodie".
posted by pompomtom at 3:48 PM on September 23, 2009


Contradictory data point--I'm in Iowa and I don't hear it a lot. I am going to start listening closely, though, and see if I'm wrong.
posted by epj at 4:29 PM on September 23, 2009


Happens in Ohio and Illinois, where I live now. Have heard it said and have said it often myself.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 4:31 PM on September 23, 2009


I hadn't heard it much till the last few years and I'm in Michigan. I do recall being curious about the phrase and reading somewhere that it'd been in use for quite a while. I think saw an example from the 1950s... or maybe it was the 20s?
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 4:41 PM on September 23, 2009


I hear it constantly in Michigan.
posted by Matt Arnold at 8:57 PM on September 23, 2009


I heard it regularly in Texas (Austin and Houston) and now in Los Angeles.
posted by Nattie at 2:10 AM on September 24, 2009


Relatively common in Ireland.
posted by nfg at 8:10 AM on September 24, 2009


Well, I'm convinced. We've heard from almost every region of North America, plus reports from the UK and Australia. The consensus is pretty overwhelming. Not possible to choose a 'best answer' beause they're all important lil' data points.

Thanks for satisfying my curiosity, everyone!
posted by Knicke at 11:05 AM on September 24, 2009


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