LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||10/NOV/2005 5:43 AM|
Don't be a stranger!
These expressions have the same meaning and is used the same way as "Volte sempre!" As someone is leaving your home (or office), you are saying that he is always welcome and you want him to return.
Stranger is often used in jest to mean that we haven't seen someone for a long time. Let's say at the supermarket you come across your friend Carlos whom you haven't seen for a few weeks or more. You can say, "Hello, stranger! Long time no see, Carlos! How are things?" Note that "Long time no see" is commonly said to friends whom we haven't seen for a long time. Also note that it is ungrammatical. I've often wondered if the speaker is imitating the speech of someone who does not speak English well, possibly a Native American. It certainly sounds like something from a cowboy movie.
It is common to say to a first time guest, "Now that you know the way, come back and see me again soon" or "Now that you know the way here, don't be a stranger!"
All the expressions above are very friendly and informal. The guest will feel very welcome when he hears your words.
But... let's say someone is leaving your home or office and you don't want to see him again. Hey, it happens! You can say, "Don't let the door hit you (on the butt) on the way out." This is rude and discourteous (especially the part about "the butt"!!!), but... it's used. You are encouraging the person to leave. If you have a very good relationship with the guest/visitor and he knows that you're joking, it can also be said.
A friend had a sign in his office that read, "Everyone who passes through this door makes me happy, some by entering and some by leaving." Make someone happy today!
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