Big Hug [closing an email?]

Discussion in 'English Only' started by perpend, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. perpend

    perpend Senior Member

    American English
    I see this more and more in American English when writing a goodbye, in an e-mail, for example.

    For example (made-up): Well, I hope the situation works out for the best. Big Hug, XXX

    My question/query: How do British English perceive this? Do you use it as well?
  2. GMF1991 Senior Member

    Cork, Ireland
    English (UK, Suffolk)
    It is used in BE, but I usually see it in situations where support is being offered (e.g. if somebody has died/is ill in hospital/etc.).

    So that's how I understand it. :)
  3. velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    Salutation escalation is what I call it. Back in the day, a few XXX (representing kisses) was enough. Maybe people feel themselves more in need of a hug nowadays. I'd be pleased to read "Big Hug" in a letter or e-mail if the person sending it would be likely to hug me in the non-virtual world too. If the person sending it was a mere acquaintance I'd be flabbergasted.

    Having said that, I think many people are "huggers" in real life, and this is reflected in their choice of e-mail salutation. Could be worse. Personally I'd save a "Big Hug" for someone with whom I was on very familiar terms. Since you say perpend that you see this more and more, I gather that your correspondents are becoming increasingly familiar and that this may be unjustified. There's probably more insincere hugging going on, and that's just carried over into the language.
  4. perpend

    perpend Senior Member

    American English
    Thanks, GMF. In those situations, it is said, and do the people actally hug?

    Or, is it just something to mean "Condolences", which could be written, as well.

    Ugh. I'm stuck in my own thread. Thanks again.

    EDIT: Cross-posted ... with velisarius. Haven't yet read.
  5. GMF1991 Senior Member

    Cork, Ireland
    English (UK, Suffolk)
    I agree with velisarius that I'd only use it if it was somebody I knew well and would hug in the non-virtual world. Acquaintances not so much...

  6. london calling Senior Member

    I also use it, but only with very good friends (many of whom are huggers in real life, as I am).;) I'm sure you all know that OOXX means 'hugs and kisses', right?:)
  7. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I have received email that ended 'big hug' from someone I have never met and will probably never meet in person. I take this to mean that if we had met in person we'd be hugging each other. In this case they were following words of sympathy.
  8. perpend

    perpend Senior Member

    American English
    Thanks for the additional input!
  9. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    I would only use it in an email to someone I'd actually hug in person. Honestly, using it with anybody else sounds just...well, ridiculous.
  10. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    It's certainly not in general use in American e-mail. It would never be used in business messages, and I don't see it in messages among adult friends, either. It might be used within a family, as, in messages between parents or grandparents and children.
  11. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    My question, perpend, is about the people who write that: Are they perhaps parents of toddlers?
    In saying "Big Hug!" they may be quoting the television program Teletubbies.
    Occasionally during the program the four plump, cartoon-like creatures remember how much they love one another,
    and they cry out in unison "Big Hug!" and engage in a four-sided hug.
  12. perpend

    perpend Senior Member

    American English
    Hi Cenzontle,
    No, not like in Teletubbles, but maybe that's where it started.

    This is just about the closing in an e-mail, and you, well rather "I" write, i.e., "Big Hug, perpend".

    Bye, perpend :)
  13. london calling Senior Member

    No, my son's nearly 21.;) Teletubbies came out when he was a toddler but at the time, in Italy, it was dubbed - I only heard the English version quite a while later, in the UK.:)
  14. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    I don't use it and I must move in the wrong circles because my incoming emails don't contain it, except for the occasional message from a Spanish speaker, in which case I interpret it as a direct translation. ;)
  15. perpend

    perpend Senior Member

    American English
    Erm. Maybe it is about the circles in which we move, sound shift, but I don't think it has any inkling of being a translation from a Spanish speaker. Those may be other circles in your life.
  16. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Like ss, I was thinking there might be a Spanish influence, perpend....

    (True confession: I sometimes use Big Hugs (plural) - but not Big Hug:).)
  17. london calling Senior Member

    I don't speak Spanish and have no contact with any Spaniards....;)

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