C is for Chip, Chip, Cheerio

Dowager-DuchessSeriously?? Seriously people?? The children have reported that they have been asked the following question at school…

“Is it true that people say chip, chip, cheerio when they say goodbye to each other in Britain?”


In fact, I was pretty skeptical when they told me this. I suspected that they had made the whole thing up. And so I googled it. The result was not reassuring. Chip, chip cheerio and pip, pip cheerio were certainly (at some time) believed (by some Americans) to be an accepted British form of saying goodbye. Lingering doubts still exist – as proved by my kids.

This has got to be what I’m going to call the Downton Abbey Effect. Because although Dame Maggie’s gaze may wither, Downton and other period dramas, shown here as Masterpiece Theater, do cast a beautiful glow over Blighty. Who wouldn’t want to believe that’s how we all talk?. Maybe it would be good thing if we did. Perhaps I’ll try it out.

Chip, chip, cheerio for now!


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