OldFashioned Greetings: Rediscover Etiquette and Social Graces

Old-Fashioned Greetings In Middle English

In the realm of old-fashioned greetings, Middle English offers a treasure trove of linguistic gems. Among the most common greetings in this archaic form of English are “Hail,” “what do ye,” and “how fare ye.” These phrases, steeped in history and tradition, were used to warmly and respectfully greet others during the Middle Ages.

Expressing Love, Friendship, And Respect

Old-fashioned greetings have long been associated with expressions of love, friendship, and respect. These greetings were more than mere pleasantries; they served as an acknowledgment of the person’s worth and significance.

By using these greetings, individuals demonstrated their appreciation and admiration for one another.

Furthermore, these greetings fostered a sense of community and connection. In a world where face-to-face interactions were central to communication, the use of old-fashioned greetings helped strengthen social bonds and maintain a sense of belonging.

Pleasurable Surprise: Ey!

Sometimes, we encounter someone unexpectedly and are delighted by their presence. In Middle English, this joyful surprise was captured by the exclamation “Ey!” This exclamation conveyed the pleasure of seeing someone unexpectedly and added an element of spontaneity to the greeting.

It was an expression of delight, serving as a lighthearted and buoyant way to greet someone.

Synonym For Greetings: Welcome Be Ye

“Welcome be ye” is an old-fashioned synonym for greetings. This phrase encapsulated the warm and hospitable nature of the person extending the greeting.

To say “Welcome be ye” was to express a genuine desire to make the other person feel welcomed and comfortable. It evoked a sense of graciousness and hospitality, reflecting the values of the era.

Submission And Respect: Alheil

In the Middle English lexicon, the greeting “Alheil” held profound significance. It was a term used to convey submission and respect.

By using this greeting, one acknowledged the superior status or authority of the person being greeted. It was a gesture of deference, reflecting the hierarchical structure of medieval society.

Excitement And Happiness: What Cheer

An old-fashioned greeting that radiated excitement and happiness was “What cheer.” This exclamation was a genuine inquiry into the well-being and happiness of the person being greeted. It expressed a sincere desire to know about the person’s joys and news, creating an atmosphere of joy and positivity.

Wes Hal: A Great Old-Fashioned Greeting

One cannot discuss old-fashioned greetings without mentioning “Wes Hal.” In Middle English, “Wes Hal” was a popular and versatile greeting. It conveyed a combination of goodwill, health, and wholeness.

Its simplicity appealed to both formal and informal settings, making it an excellent choice for a wide range of social interactions.

Formal Vs. Informal Greetings

When it comes to greetings, a distinction arises between formal and informal settings. In formal situations, such as business meetings or official gatherings, greetings like “How do you do?” and “Nice to meet you” are commonly used.

These greetings project professionalism and respect.

On the other hand, informal settings allow for a more relaxed and casual tone. In such contexts, it is common to use first names and less formal greetings like “Hey” or “Hi.” Informal greetings foster a sense of familiarity and camaraderie, creating a more laid-back atmosphere.

It is important to note that greetings can also vary based on the time of day. In the morning, a common greeting might be “Good morning,” while in the afternoon, “Good afternoon” is more appropriate.

Similarly, “Good evening” is the customary greeting in the evening.

In formal written communication, greetings typically begin with “Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern.” These greetings establish a respectful tone and set the stage for professional interaction.


Greetings, whether old-fashioned or contemporary, play a crucial role in initiating conversations and maintaining social connections. By implementing old-fashioned greetings, one can showcase an appreciation for tradition and customs while adding vibrancy and fluency to their interactions.

From the Middle English greetings of “Hail” and “what do ye” to the expressions of surprise with “Ey!” and the warmth of “Welcome be ye,” these ancient greetings offer a glimpse into a bygone era. They remind us of the importance of courtesy, respect, and making others feel valued.

So, whether you’re considering reviving old-fashioned greetings or embracing new ones, the key is to remember that a greeting is more than just a word. It is an opportunity to connect with others, express genuine interest, and show that you value their presence in your life.

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