From Hi to Yo: How to greet people informally in England

Informal English Greetings from Kaplan International Colleges

Greetings are one of the first things that we learn in a language and it’s so important to get them right! ‘Hello’ and ‘hi’ are common casual greetings in England, and here is a list of other informal ways to greet people. These are ones you shouldn’t use when visiting the Queen, for instance!

1.  Hi there: A more formal version of “Hi”.
2.  Hiya: Combination of “Hi” and “you”.
3. Alright (mate)? An informal greeting combining “Hello” and “how are you?” in one!
4. Ay-up: Similar to “Hi” or “Alright”, this is regional slang that is used mainly in northern England.
5. Hey: Derived from the United States, this is also a popular term in the UK. "Hey guys" can be used for both genders. "Hey, how’s it going?" is also used very frequently.
6. Watcha: Similar to “Alright?” as a shorter version of “What Cheer?” It can also be a shorter version for “What do you” as in “Whatcha want to do today?” However, this greeting isn’t so popular.
7. Morning/Afternoon/Evening: The difference between formal and informal use is the word “good” - “Good morning/afternoon/evening” creates a formal tone.
8. Wagwan: Very informal version of the greeting “What’s going on?” Derived from Jamaican English, it’s now been adopted as part of contemporary street culture. Standard response is “nagwan”, with the full translation “nothing is going on”!
9.  Easy? Very informal slang, spoken as a question. “Easy bruv” is used in London slang, and is the equivalent of “How are you brother?”
10.  Yo: A more informal way of saying “Hi”, this is also American in origin.

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