All the Best - Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a semi-formal farewell greeting? If so, you could use the saying “all the best.” This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this greeting and how to use it in conversation.


The expression “all the best” is a semi-formal greeting suitable for social and professional use. It also suits verbal and written communications, and it’s a popular way to sign off business emails.

The expression might be somewhat disingenuous in some social settings, especially if you’re not used to using a formal language with your friends.

When you wish someone “all the best,” you’re telling them that you hope everything goes well for them and future prosperity for their family. It’s a way of telling them that you wish to see them again and that they are of value to your life experience.

Some people may use the saying in an ironic or sarcastic tone. If that’s the case, they wish the person the opposite of the original meaning of the expression. However, the sarcastic use of the phrase is far less common than the original connotation.

Example Usage

“Oh well, cheers, mate, it was nice meeting you tonight. All the best to you and your family; see you around sometime soon, I hope.”

“Dear Mr. Carrington. It was a pleasure meeting you in-store today. I wanted to follow up to see if you’re making the payment later today or tomorrow? All the best, Thomas.”

“We hope you and your wife enjoyed your trip to our hotel this weekend? Thank you for your patronage and all the best for the future.”

“We’ll see you around the negotiating table in Germany. Until then, have a safe flight and all the best.”

“That’s fine, she can take that stance on the situation if she wants, but I want nothing to do with her. Thanks for playing, all the best, and goodbye.”


Language experts are unsure about the origin of the farewell greeting “all the best.” However, many experts believe it originated from a business conversation in the early 1900s.

The source of the word “best” goes back to the Middle English word “beste,” which was around from at least 900 CE.

No one is clear on when it entered the business vernacular. However, it’s thought that the saying could be a modern iteration of the act of “wishing someone the best” or to “give someone my best.”

All the best became a shorter version of these sayings, and the more efficient expression is the one that stays around in language the longest.

Phrases Similar to All the Best

  • Stay well.
  • Have a good one.
  • Kind regards.

Phrases Opposite to All the Best

  • May you live in interesting times.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • All the Best.

Ways People May Say All the Best Incorrectly

Some people may use “all the best” in a sarcastic manner. While it does suit ironic or sarcastic use, it’s not the more common use for the saying. So, using it in the sarcastic sense, you would be implying that you wish bad things to happen to the person.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase All the Best

You can use “all the best” in social and professional greetings. At the office, you could use the phrase to sign off an email to a client wishing them well. You could hang up the phone on a relative by using the saying at home.

It’s a versatile phrase for verbal and written communications, but it’s more common in business language. Using it as a social farewell greeting might seem stiff and stale if you say it to a good friend. However, it would be suitable as a greeting towards someone you met that evening that you barely know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *