"Merry Christmas"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Sat Dec 25 22:10:59 UTC 2004

Before conjecture gets too wild, the OED offers the following - the earliest of several :

1565 Hereford Munic. MSS (transcript) 209 And thus I comytt you to god, who send you a mery Christmas & many.

Jane Austen seems to have preferred "Merry Christmas" too.

I could find no examples of "Happy Christmas!"  OED does offer two cites and a featured mention for "Happy landings!"

Have a happy,


"Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Arnold M. Zwicky"
Subject: Re: "Merry Christmas"

On Dec 25, 2004, at 11:47 AM, Barbara Need wrote:

> ... I was recently rereading an Agatha Christie in which someone wishes
> another person "Merry Christmas", so the question may be, when the
> British start saying "Happy Christmas"?

americans said it too: recall the final line of the famous poem of

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


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