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In the movie "The Dark Knight" (2008) by Christopher Nolan, the character Joker, at a certain point, interrupts a party where there's Rachel Dawes (former girlfriend of Bruce Wayne). When he meets her he says

Well hello, beautiful!

I was reflecting on the correctness of this expression. beautiful is an adjective and is being used either as a noun or the expression "hello, beautiful" is actually a short version of an expression like "hello, beautiful girl". The second option seems to make more sense to me. I suppose this is a common expression or at least not a weird expression for a native speaker to hear.

Meanwhile, I've been using the expression "hi beauty" or "hello beauty" when meeting a girl with whom I have a lot of confidence and which I find very beautiful, i.e. a girl which is considered the "beauty" by definition, or the most beautiful girl. Clearly, this is a compliment and a greeting at the same time.

My question are:

  • How do you interpret the expression "hi beautiful" in the context I mentioned above?

  • Does it sound weird for a native speaker to hear the expression I've been using "hi beauty"?

  • Depending on the interpretation of the meaning of the expression "hi beautiful", this expression may mean the same or similar thing (or not) of "hi beauty", provided this last expression isn't just my invention. How different are the expressions "hi beautiful" and "hi beauty" and when can they be used, in your "opinion"?

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    "Hello beautiful" is idiomatic in AmE. "Hello beauty" is not idiomatic. "Hello, my beauty" would be idiomatic, if somewhat theatrical. What you mean by "with whom I have a lot of confidence" is not clear.
    – TimR
    Sep 22, 2017 at 13:55
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    "Hi, beauty" sounds weird to this US English speaker. Greetings of this form are pretty much always "Hi, adjective" - Hi, handsome; hi, gorgeous; etc.
    – stangdon
    Sep 22, 2017 at 13:56
  • "a person with whom I share confidences". It is not clear from what you said whether the sharing of confidences is mutual.
    – TimR
    Sep 22, 2017 at 14:01
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    I would only use "Hello Beauty." if I was greeting a horse of that name. Jun 19, 2019 at 9:08
  • Hello, beautiful could be said in BrE, also,
    – Lambie
    Nov 19, 2022 at 16:30

2 Answers 2

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"Hi beauty" is not idiomatic in America. I would interpret it to mean the same as "hi beautiful", but it would sound odd and mark the speaker as a non-native speaker of English.

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"Hi Beauty" isn't idiomatic. The dictionary notes that beautiful as an noun means, "Someone who is beautiful. Can be used as a term of address." That means it is idiomatic to use "beautiful", not "beauty" in place of a name.

But be aware that many people would actually feel insulted! You are reducing them to their physical appearance. Remember that the Joker is written as a psychopath who doesn't care about people. Saying "Hi Beautiful" to someone might be "creepy", "weird", or simply "rude", depending on the context and situation. I would not take lessons in etiquette from the Joker.

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