LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||21/DEZ/2011 8:11 AM|
“Merry Christmas is a common phrase exchanged amongst Christians during the holidays. However, religions that have celebrations around Christmas time, like the Jewish Hanukkah, are more inclined to say “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas”.
The alternative “Happy Christmas” gained wide usage in the late 19th century, and is still common in the United Kingdom and Ireland. One reason may be the alternative meaning, still current there, of “merry” as “tipsy” or “drunk.” Queen Elizabeth II is said to prefer “Happy Christmas” for this reason. In American poet Clement Moore’s “A Visit from St.Nicholas” (1823), the final line, originally written as “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night,” has been changed in many editions to “Merry Christmas to all”, perhaps indicating the relative popularity of the phrases in the United States.”
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