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Tales of Hi and Bye


  • 45 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 262 pages
  • Size: 190 x 130 mm
  • Weight: 0.38 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521117548)

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$32.95 (G)

We do it over and over again, day after day, and never seem to get enough of it. Albanians do it. Zulus do it. Movie stars and plumbers do it. All around the world, people say hi and bye in innumerable languages and countless ways: they wave and bow and curtsey and shake hands and rub noses and fist-bump and mwah-mwah and perform a vast array of greeting and farewell rituals, so common and natural that no-one stops to notice … Tales of Hi and Bye provides a delightful, witty, and intriguing insight into the sometimes strange and often wonderful customs associated with an ordinary, everyday event. For more information, book extracts and cartoons visit


Acknowledgements; To the reader; Introduction; Gestures and signals: take a bow: bending at the neck or waist; Hi, Hitler! Arm salutes at various angles; Do a nose job: rubbing and sniffing as a greeting; XXXX! The heartfelt kiss; Flashy hello: the eyebrow flash; Getting the shakes: the story of the handshake; Slaps, daps, thumps and bumps: not so gripping handshakes; I dips me lid: the hat as a courtesy tool; Hello? Hell, no! Greeting refusals; Waves of emotion: greeting from a distance; Customs and behaviours: no hug for Dr Livingstone: a demonstration of restraint; It hurts to say goodbye: the Parthian shot; How stiff can your upper lip get? Avoiding strangers; Chinese whispers: greeting and parting rituals in China; From Russia with love: sit on your case and say goodbye; Cut it out! How to avoid saying 'hello'; I don't speak to my mother-in-law: avoidance language; Phonethics: telephone mannerisms; Thanks for having me on! Names and forms of address in the media; Eskimodesty: greeting and visiting in the Arctic; Names and addresses: what's so good about it? The curious nature of 'good-' greetings; Ahoy, ahoy! Pick up the phone! 'Hello' and its uses; The unlucky Mr Szczęściarz: foreign names in foreign places; Wang is King in China: too many people; not enough names; Finding Björk: Icelandic names; Yoo-hoo! Who? You! How Swedes don't address each other; Mister Doctor: titles of medicos, surgeons and barbers; I forget my name: loss of first name by marriage; When your coz is your sis: kinship terms; You, thou and other politenesses: familiar and polite 'you'; Include me out! Dual, trial and other grammatical curiosities; For me to know and you to find out: naming and name taboos; Bye-bye! How things have changed; Postscript; Notes; Sources; Index.

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