Ed’s Weblog

…now my real blog

What’s up, doc?

Posted by Ed on December 16, 2003

It came as no surprise to me to learn that Americans have different ways of saying things than Brits, and for the most part posed me no problem. I am, for example, completely at home searching for zucchini, egg-plant or cilantro in the market. I am also aware that ‘pissed’ people are angry about something, and not (necessarily) drunk.

One thing still stumps me though. What do you say when people you pass in the corridor say, “Hey Ed, what’s up?” The question means the same as ‘How are you?’ or ‘How’s it going?’, but is impossible to answer. ‘Fine thanks, how are you?’ simply doesn’t work. Suggestions greatly appreciated.


3 Responses to “What’s up, doc?”

  1. Ari said

    Just reply with the same: “What’s up?”

    I found the British way a bit strange: using the (to me) negative phrase “Are you okay / alright?” when they mean a neutral “How are you?”.

    Had to suppress the urge to reply: “Do I look that bad?”

  2. Just say: “Nothing much” (most used) OR “Same o’, same o’ ” OR “I’m good…” (advanced) OR “Life’s a bitch..” (if you’re pissed) OR “I’m cool…” (California) —

  3. Anais said

    I have the same feeling about “What’s up”.
    I’m a Chinese who just moved here last year.
    When I heard somebody said that to me, I didn’t know how to response then just said ” Err…nothing.”:P

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