Greetings and salutations


Sir, – In my youth greetings were not always friendly. One such was: “What are ya lookin ah?” The standard response was, “I’m lookin at you,Your eyes are blue,Your face is like a kangaroo”. Only in Dublin? The standard welcome however was “Howya”.– Yours, etc,


Terenure, Dublin.

Sir, – Three or four times a year I would call on my colleague and good friend Noel, in Kells, Co Meath and inquire, “How are you today Noel?” He would frequently reply, “I’m like the cracked cup on the dresser, trying to keep the best side out.” – Yours, etc,


Foxrock, Dublin 18.

Sir, – Like your letter writer, Attracta Shields (December 12th), I was familiar, as a boy growing up in Carlow in the 1950s, with the salutation “How’s she cuttin’?”

The most common reply I remember though, was “Up the middle”. Not sure of the origins of this response but it certainly meant you were feeling just fine. – Yours, etc,



Co Waterford.

Sir, – I recall an exchange with a real Dublin character some years ago. I greeted him by saying “How are you, Gifty [his nickname], are you well?” Back came the reply: “Well is full of water, are yeh buyin’ me a pint?” – Yours, etc,


Glenageary, Dublin 18.

Sir, – When asked how I am, I say, “Still here, shor neither God nor the devil wants me”. I learned that growing up in Co Louth. – Yours, etc,


Churchtown, Dublin 14.

Sir, – All I can hope is that when I’m in my 90s (says he wildly optimistically) whenever I am asked “How are you?” I won’t then be responding with “Who are you?”. Unless, that is, I want them to go away and stop bothering me. – Yours, etc,


Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.