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The English language has many interesting and creative ways to say “goodbye” or “farewell”, one of those ways is to use the phrase “all the best”.
When you say “goodbye” you are basically leaving a conversation and you want to do so in a way that leaves a good impression on those you are leaving.
When you are composing a message of some sort, like an e-mail or a letter, it’s also important to end the letter with a proper “goodbye”. This is what is often known as a signoff.
While just saying “goodbye” and signing your name on a message is considered appropriate in almost all circumstances, there are other ways to sign off on a message. One of the best ways is to use the phrase “all the best”.
“All the best” is defined as a phrase that is used to say goodbye as well as wish someone “success, health, and happiness for the future”.
The origin of the phrase “all the best” can probably be traced back to the longer signoff phrase “I wish you all the best of luck”.
“I wish you all the best of luck” used to be a common signoff for both written messages and spoken conversation. It was a formal sort of “goodbye” that was meant to say not just “farewell” but also “good luck” or “best wishes”.
Over time, “I wish you all the best of luck” was shortened to two phrases that basically mean everything that “I wish you all the best of luck” does, but uses fewer words. These are “all the best” and “best of luck”.
Writing “all the best” at the end of a message then adding your name is an acceptable way to end all types of written correspondence. It is considered warm and friendly but still respectful and formal.
Whether it is a friendly note to a loved one or a formal e-mail to a workmate or client, “all the best” and many of its synonyms are appropriate signoffs to end a message with.
When you write “all the best” or the following synonyms at the end of a message, you are doing two things at once: You are wishing the recipient well and are saying goodbye. Not bad for just three words and a little more or less.
The usage of “all the best” to say “goodbye and good luck” to someone originated in the days when letter writing was still the major means of correspondence.
While “all the best” itself made the transition from the days of “snail mail” to this day of almost instant connection via e-mail and other electronic messenger systems, the following ways to say “all the best” didn’t really make it.
We thought it would be interesting to take a look at these ways of saying “all the best” that were once common but are now considered dated and old fashioned.
If you really want to have a unique finishing signature for your messages, you can try and bring them back in fashion. Just keep in mind that some people might be taken aback or think you are strange.
We’re going to add two more to this list of old-fashioned ways to say “all the best”. These two, while rather dated, can also be considered to have made a successful transition from “snail mail” to e-mail.
Using “all the best” in a conversation – actually saying the phrase out loud -- is a little less common and considered a bit “old fashioned”.
You can say “all the best” if someone is leaving your group because they are leaving to take care of a challenging situation.
For example, if your friend is leaving to take a test, you can wish them “all the best”.
Other situations where saying “all the best” or something similar would be appropriate is if a workmate is leaving for a client meeting or a relative tells you they have a doctor’s appointment.
As you can guess from the examples above, when we are talking about saying “all the best” in a conversation, we are basically looking for a way to wish someone luck. So another, very common way to say “all the best” in this situation would be to call “good luck” after them.
Here are a few other ways you can use “all the best” in conversation, if you look closely there is some overlap between this and the previous list as some ways to say “all the best” in a written message are also appropriate to use in conversation.
As we’ve covered elsewhere in this blog, the English language contains a lot of creative idioms. These are phrases or expressions that native speakers use every day to convey a variety of thoughts and feelings.
Idioms can be confusing for language learners as often the direct translation doesn’t really express what the phrase means or how it is used.
In the case of the following idioms, they can all be used in the place of “all the best”. They convey your best wishes to someone and can also be used to say goodbye to someone.
These two idioms might be a little confusing and maybe frightening but they are actually ways to wish a person idiom “good luck”, usually when they are about to leave because they have a performance of some sort.
“Break a leg” actually originates in the theater. It was considered bad luck to wish an actor or actress “good luck”, so they started saying this instead.
This is similar to the other two and it basically means that you should impress someone. Again, it can be used to say “all the best” to a performer or anyone else who might be entering a situation where they are going to be judged.
This particular idiom originates from the beauty pageant world. When a contestant wins a beauty contest, they often are “crowned”. They may be given an actual headpiece – a crown or a tiara – which denotes that they won.
So, if you tell someone to “take home the crown” you are wishing them “all the best” in a contest. You are telling them to “win” a contest or just get the best out of a situation.
This is similar to “take home the crown” but instead of originating in the beauty pageant world, this comes from the sporting arena.
Other alternatives to these would be “take home the medal” or “bring home the gold” because, aside from a trophy, these denote that someone was successful in a sporting contest.
So if you use these idioms, you are telling someone “all the best” and “do your best!”
This particular idiom comes from the superstition that, if you want to prevent something bad from happening, you need to find a wooden surface and knock on it.
Just saying “knock on wood” can mean “good luck” or “all the best”, but it is also used to ward off “bad karma”.
Say you said something like, “I might miss the bus”, you then say “knock on wood” and literally knock on wood to prevent the bad thing from happening.
This is also another way to say that you are “wishing you the best” that arises from a superstition.
Many English speakers believe that, if they cross their fingers something that they are hoping for will come true. So they say “fingers crossed” and maybe actually cross their fingers, place their index finger over their pointer finger, as a way to denote that they are hopeful.
It’s also considered a way to invoke good luck. So, you can tell someone “fingers crossed” and they will know that you are hoping for the best for them.
This can be a bit confusing for English language learners as they will probably be taught that “root” is a noun that describes the part of the plant that is found underground.
However, the slangy meaning of “root” can also be used as a verb, and that is the case when you say you are “rooting” for someone.
When you say that you are “rooting” for someone, it means that you are cheering them on. That you are watching what they are going and hoping for their success.
This is a jokey little phrase that you can call out to someone when you are wishing them the best. Basically, you are saying that they will do a good job and be successful. So successful and “famous” that they will find themselves surrounded by a lot of admirers.
You are asking the person not to forget the “little people” or those who knew them before they were famous. You are also saying that you are so confident in their abilities that you know they will become “famous,”
Many people believe that it is the opening lines of a message or a conversation that is the hardest part. While that can be true, don’t underestimate the importance of a good signoff.
It is important to know how to properly say goodbye and send a message or a conversation in a manner that has the other party hoping that they will hear from you again. You want to leave a good impression and not come off as “rude”.
Learning the proper ways to say “all the best” can really help you leave a good impression on the English speakers that you deal with every day. Aside from memorizing the different phrases we listed above, you can work with a good native English language tutor who can help you improve both your conversational and written English.
Download the PDF of the different ways to say all the best that we’ve provided and then go through them with your native speaking tutor. They can help clarify any questions you might have on when and with whom each phrase is appropriate to use, so you don’t make any embarrassing mistakes.
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