how do you do

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Phrase[edit]

how do you do?

  1. (formal) a greeting used meeting somebody. Alternatives are pleased to meet you and nice to meet you. Often not actually meant as a question (depends on the region).
    • 1913 Eleanor Porter: Pollyanna: Chapter 8:
      "How do you do?" began Pollyanna politely. "I'm from Miss Polly Harrington, and I'd like to see Mrs. Snow, please."

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

how do you do (plural how do you dos)

  1. (Britain, euphemistic) A difficult situation
    • 1993, Nick Park, Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers
      Well, this is a fine how do you do isn't it, Gromit?
    • 2010, Michael Sledge, The More I Owe You: A Novel, Counterpoint Press →ISBN, page 78
      On the winding road to Petropolis, they did not speak, not about modernism or the construction of houses or antique bird jails or fine how-do-you-dos.
    • 2013, Chris Raschka, Seriously, Norman!, Scholastic Inc. →ISBN, page 115
      "Vienna!" Mr. B. went on. "This is is a bit of a how-do-you-do, is it not?"