good on you -> good on him?

fenixpollo

moderator
American English
As I understand it, non-American English speakers often congratulate someone on a job well done by saying "good on you" or "good on ya, mate."

On NPR yesterday, I heard an American English speaker use this congratulation in the third person:
He's played baseball for a long time, and if he can play another season, as old as he is, then good on him.

Can "good on ya" sound right in the third person? Thanks for your comments.
 
  • MrPedantic

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Yes; and you can also hear it with "good for you", which is used similarly, e.g."He's played baseball for a long time, and if he can play another season, as old as he is, then good for him."MrP
     

    bartonig

    Senior Member
    UK English
    In British English you'd say good for him rather than good on him. Good on ya would only be used addressing a second person.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Contrary to my countrymen I would happily say "good on him" meaning "all credit to him", as opposed to "good for him" which is what vegetables are - just the same as the 2nd person version "good on you" "good for you". That said, you do often hear "good for him/you" meaning "all credit to him/you" as well.

    There was a discussion on this recently, I'll see if I can find the link.
     

    mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    Agree with Nick, even though the meaning of, "Good for him!" would probably be more like timpeac's, "Good on him!" Most people who say, "Good for him," don't mean it's good for him, like veggies are good for him. They mean, "He done good for hisself."
     

    Mr. Chaz

    Senior Member
    United States - English
    Agree with Nick and MJScott. In USA, we say "Good for you!" "Good for her!" Good for them!" just as we say sarcastically "Well, bully for you!" etc.

    "Food is good for him!" yes... but just "Good for him!" means it's good that he has done/accomplished all that.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top