Happy Christmas vs. Merry Christmas

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Sat Dec 25 18:01:08 UTC 2010

I am reasonably certain the the copy of "The Night  before Christmas" that I read (and, earlier, was read) as a child (c1950) had Santa saying, as he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."


From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of David A. Daniel [dad at POKERWIZ.COM]
Sent: Saturday, December 25, 2010 4:44 AM

>My direct contact with Brits and Britspeak goes back to 1967. I have, from
>that time till now, observed that Brits say Happy while Americans say

>The British song does not go "God rest ye *happy* Gentlemen".  (I
>omit the moveable comma.)

Well, not sure what "merry gentlemen" has to do with merry Christmas, but
then... But, if anyone on the ground in the UK wants to go out and take a
poll I'll be willing to bet money that Happy Christmases will outnumber
Merry Christmases by a lot. I won a thousand pounds once making a similar
bet about soccer, so beware...  If interested, here is John Lennon singing
Happy Christmas, and writing it on his sign, while all the little American
kids sing "Merry Christmas" when it is their turn.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb2YSAVHmIE Worth a listen in any case.
Brought genuine tears to my eyes.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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