How do you do


Please tell me, is the phrase "how do you do?" ever really used, or is it just a phrase taught to foreigners, but never really applied in real life?
Maybe it used to be used, and fell into disuse -if so, when?
Maybe it is used in certain situations, if so, which?
  • janiemae

    English- US
    It's not used in AE as an every day greeting. I don't know when it fell into disuse, though. However, it was commonly used, if I'm not mistaken. I would only use that in very formal occasions. If I were to meet Royalty, for instance, I would use that phrase. I would not use it when meeting a collegue.

    However, it might be used in BE. I do not know. A Brit would need to address that.


    Senior Member
    English English
    I believe I'm not entirely alone in the UK in being old-fashioned enough still to use it on occasion, Cyax. It would have to be a fairly formal occasion (such as a job interview), accompanied by a handshake, and I would only ever use it on a first meeting with someone.

    The one-hundred-times-less-formal short version How do? is probably a good bit commoner, at least in the North West of England (where I am). Not recommended for job interviews:D
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