Suppose a professor in our department went to a conference for several weeks, is there a more polite way to say something like

Hi professor, haven't seen you for a while / for ages / for yonks.

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    Why do you think "Hi professor, haven't seen you for a while" wouldn't be polite enough? – Rob K Mar 2 '17 at 19:50
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    "For yonks"? I've never heard this before. Is it regional to some area? – Catija Mar 2 '17 at 19:57
  • @RobK I thought it is used between close friends. But if it is already polite enough, please ignore my question... – No One Mar 2 '17 at 20:03
  • Because of the nature of the word, "yonks" is listed at almost the end of the dictionary, @Cat, and thus, curious cats like me (and probably the OP) stumble upon it and think "Oh, another new fancy word I can use instead of age". That it's not common at all in some dialects with such a common meaning is irrelevant. – M.A.R. Mar 2 '17 at 20:13
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    @RobK - One could say that 'for ages' is hyperbole. "...for a long time" would be a good fit, though. – J.R. Mar 2 '17 at 23:03


would be very informal.

haven't seen you for a while
haven't seen you for a long time

would be appropriate when speaking with your professor, as would

it's been a while

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