Greetings are like a mixed bag of candies: they’re generally short and sweet, and they come in a number of different varieties. From the casual to the formal, various American salutations are used depending on the social situation. Interestingly enough, a lot of these greetings have long cultural histories tied into them as well. Here is a beginner’s guide to some basic American greetings.
Commonly relegated to the down-home boys of the Southern states and Western movie stars like John Wayne, “howdy” is an informal greeting often thought to represent a shortened version of the phrase “how do you do?” Generally thought of as a hallmark of the vocabulary of states such as Arizona, Texas and New Mexico, it is believed to have come from Native American greetings to settlers.
这个词其实是“how do you do(你怎么样)”的非正式删减版，虽然被公认为是X格较低，但却十分的接地气儿，一挂在嘴边儿就让人想起美国南部诸州的乡村大男孩和西部电影里的经典牛仔形象，比如约翰•韦恩(曾出演《关山飞度》)。这个词是美国亚利桑那州、德克萨斯州和新墨西哥州方言的经典词汇，据说最早来自印第安人对美洲开拓者的问候。
“Whassup?” “What’s up?” “Sup?” They all mean the same thing. This is an informal slang greeting you’ll hear in many places across the United States, basically meaning: “How’s is everything going?” The long slurred form of the phrase “whassup” gained popularity in the 1990s from a series of well-loved beer advertisements, where characters tried to outdo each other with progressively longer “whassaaaaps”.
“Whassup?” “What’s up?” “Sup?”这些都是一个意思。这句俚语问候可以说早在美国“烂大街”，它的意思基本上就是：“一切可都还好?”这句长长的俚语的发音要诀就是一定要说得含糊不清楚，它成名于上世纪90年代，出现在一个饱受追捧的啤酒广告系列中而一跃流行;广告里的老哥儿们一个个接起电话都是“Yo! Whassup!”，一个比一个发音含糊尾音拖得老长，也是醉了。
Short, sweet and to the point, the one-syllable “yo” might be the simplest American greeting in the English language. The word originally came from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – a largely working-class city in the Northeast – but a series of iconic uses popularized the word in the American vocabulary. Most famously, Rocky Balboa, the main character in the titular “Rocky” films, used the word as a sign of his Philadelphia roots. The word also gained wide usage in the hip-hop and rap communities in the 1990s, filtering into the mainstream conversation through the popularity of that lifestyle and music.
You might need to head to a tropical paradise to hear this island greeting. “Aloha” has been used in the island state of Hawaii since the mid-19th century to mean not only a greeting, but also a farewell. In the decades since then, Hawaii has become quite the tourist destination – with countless visitors to the “Aloha State” getting a taste of the island lifestyle and bringing back a phrase or two home with them.
“Shalom” is a greeting normally used in the American Jewish community. It comes from the Hebrew word for peace, completeness, prosperity, and welfare – and just like “Aloha”, it can mean both hello and goodbye. It is frequently used as a more general blessing, and is often put in combination with other Hebrew words in both colloquial and religious contexts.