“Top of the morning to you” is a phrase you may have heard used in a movie or two with Irish characters.
So, is “top of the morning to you” Irish? While there is no definitive answer, the phrase is often associated with Ireland and the Irish culture.
It’s not something people actually say in Ireland anymore. It’s an archaic phrase that might cause an Irish person to roll their eyes when they hear it. The phrase means “good morning.”
Let’s discuss in detail the “top of the morning to you” expression, in-depth meaning, and origin.
Is “top of the morning to you” Irish?
“Top of the morning to you” is often a phrase stereotyped as Irish; however, it is uncertain whether this phrase even originated in Ireland.
The Irish used to say the phrase “top of the morning to you,” as reported by P. W. Joyce in his book “English As We Speak It In Ireland” in 1910. Its usage in Ireland has long since become obsolete.
While it is possible that the phrase did originate in Ireland, it is viewed as an archaic phrase used across England, Ireland, and Scotland.
According to Irish Central, a popular Irish news site, “top of the morning to you” came from Hollywood and was used to distinguish Irish characters. The expression has, quite frankly, nothing to do with the Irish now.
Is it OK to say “Top of the Morning” to an Irish person?
As an Irish person, I think it’s important to answer this question. You should avoid saying “top of the morning to you” to an Irish person.
Irish people find it mildly irritating when people from other countries visit Ireland and say “top of the morning to you.” It’s not offensive, but it can get more annoying when we hear it often.
By saying “top of the morning to you,” the stereotypical Irish remark, you might get an eye roll, a laugh or a funny look.
Those who live in Ireland don’t appreciate the phrase. The phrase is never spoken in Ireland.
“Top of The Morning To You,” Meaning
“Top of The Morning to you” is a fun way to greet someone during the morning hours. It is generally considered to be a friendly phrase and can be used as a form of good luck wish.
Top of the morning to you” means “the best of the morning to you.” The traditional response to this expression is “and the rest of the day to yourself.
Alternatively, it can be spoken and written as “top of the morning,” “top of the morning to ya” or “top o’ the morning to ya.”
“Top of The Morning To You” Origin
The origin of the phrase “top of the morning to you” is unknown. However, it is often associated with Ireland and the Irish culture as it was widely spoken in Ireland a century ago.
It is possible that the phrase originated in England, Ireland, or Scotland, but it is uncertain.
When to use “top of the morning to you?”
Normally, the Irishism “top of the morning to you” appears on Hollywood TV, media and advertising. I don’t recommend you ever say “top of the morning to you” to an Irish person unless it is an obvious joke.
What are some other ways to say “top of the morning to you”?
“Top of the morning” synonyms include:
- Good morning
- Hi there!
- Hey there!
- What’s up?
- How are you doing?
- Have a good day!
Some synonyms for “top of the morning to you” include “good morning,” “hello,” “how are you?” and “what‘s up?
Ways to Greet an Irish Person
If you want to greet an Irish person, you can say “well” or “what’s the craic.”
The phrase “what’s the craic” is used to ask someone how they are. It can also be used as a way of starting a conversation.
For example, you could say, “Well, Johnny. What’s the craic?”
You could also say “well,” which is a common way to say “hello” in Ireland. “Well, Anne. How are ya?”
How to Reply to “Top of the Morning To You”
Here are some “top of the morning” responses:
- And to you!
- Top of the morning to you, too!
- I hope you have a great day!
- Thank you!
- And the rest of the day to yourself. (the traditional response)
“Top of the morning to you” is a phrase that can be used as a friendly greeting or wish for good luck. Some possible responses to “top of the morning to you” include “and to you!”, “Top of the morning to you, too!”, “I hope you have a great day!”, “thank you!” and “and the rest of the day to yourself.”
“And the rest of the day to yourself” was the original, traditional reply to the expression.
Is it professional to say “top of the morning to you”?
“Top of the morning to you” is generally considered to be a friendly phrase. It is more likely to be seen as casual or colloquial. It is best to avoid using this remark in a professional, formal context.”
Professional Ways to Say “Top of The Morning To You”
Here are some alternative phrases to “top of the morning” that are more professional:
- Good morning!
- How are you today?
- It’s nice to see you.
Commonly Asked Questions Related to “Top of The Morning”
Is “top of the morning” offensive?
“Top of the morning” might not be offensive; however it is irritating for Irish people to hear. It is best to avoid this expression.
Is “top of the morning” only used in Ireland?
“Top of the morning” is often associated with Ireland and the Irish culture. However, it is not used in Ireland anymore. In fact, I have never heard anyone say “top of the morning” in Ireland.
What’s “good morning” in Irish?
“Good morning” in Irish is “Dia dhuit ar maidin.” You can answer this with “Dia is Muire duit,” which means “God and Mary be with you.”
In conclusion, the phrase “top of the morning to you” is often associated with Ireland. However, there is no definitive answer as to whether or not the phrase actually originated in Ireland.
Irish people instead say “good morning,” “well,” or “what’s the craic” as a greeting.
It is best to avoid using the old colloquialism “Top o’ the morning to ya” as it might be considered irritating.
If you want to wish someone a good day, there are many other alternative phrases you can use that are more professional such as “hello,” “good morning,” or “have a nice day.”
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I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.
I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!
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2 thoughts on ““Top of The Morning To You” Origin, Meaning and Usage”
It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks