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I was wondering if there is some sort of complete list of what "have a good one" can commonly mean. As the answers to this question imply, it can mean "have a good day!" or "have a nice weekend!", always as a form of saying goodbye to someone.

But would it also be acceptable for longer time ranges? For example, if someone says "Happy New Year!", can I reply "Thanks! You too, have a good one!" or simply say to someone off on vacations "have a good one!"?

Merriam-Webster says:

Definition of have a good one
US, informal
—used to say one hopes the person spoken to will have an enjoyable day

So, my question is: Does "have a good one" need to be restricted to a single day, as in "have a good day!"? Or can it be used for longer periods? (the answers here also suggest that it should be confined to a single day)


EDIT: Thank you for the answers! But I'm having a hard time picking the definitive one, since they rather contradict each other. Maybe different regions use it differently and there's no single answer? (I'm also curious to know what people from other native speaking countries, like England or Canada, would think of this)

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It's all depends on 'context'.

Sometimes we use "have a good one" for a single day (good day)

and sometimes for a longer duration. (Have a good one" [trip])

Let's say you tell me you're going on vacation next week. I say oh wow I'm not going to see you until the end of January. When we finish talking, I say to you "have a good one" I'm telling you to have a good vacation because I won't see you until after you have returned. [think of until we meet again]

A really common use for it is for people who don't know each other very well. They don't know if they'll ever see the person again (but they don't want to say that) so they say "have a good one" (with whatever it is you're going to be doing after I leave you).

So, if I just meet you and we had a short discussion on grammar and it's just ended I'm going to say to you "have a good one" [I don't know you and I don't know what you're going to do after because we didn't talk about that. So it's like saying okay, good luck and enjoy what it is that you're going to be doing now.]

In reference to your question: Most of the time it is used for shorter periods of time but it can also be used for longer periods of time. But it all depends on 'context'.

  • Thank you for the answer! I think you're right, specially about it being used for people we don't know so well (I received it a lot as traveller in the US). Would you mind if I asked you where you're from? There's no problem in not saying if you're not comfortable with it, but I'm curious about how different regions might use this expression – flen Jan 8 '18 at 6:47
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    Yes, that's quite important. When I responded to your question i'm strictly speaking from a NY perspective. I don't know how it is used elsewhere. [Although, what happens in NYc doesn't stay here. If it's hip, it usually spreads to other areas ( especially among the young).] – lina Jan 10 '18 at 3:14
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"have a good one" can refer to anything. As an answer to your question - yes, it can.

It can refer to a weekend, holiday, party, vocation, work day, journey, school year even. It can also refer to minor things like a ride, a show, a play, etc.

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It seems to me like your question is primarily concerned with have a good one used as a farewell.

As you probably know from the various links you've provided, have a good one is an idiom that means "have a good day" when used as a farewell. I've seen the accepted answer that says it can mean different things such as "have a good evening" or "have a good weekend" -- depending on the context of the conversation preceding the farewell. This is certainly true for parts of a day (morning, afternoon, evening, night, etc.), but I think such usage is fairly uncommon for periods of time longer than a day. For example, I personally have never heard anyone say have a good one when referring to an entire weekend. I think it most often means just "have a good day" or "have a good morning/afternoon/evening" -- a very common, folksy farewell.

  • I often heard people say farewell and say "have a good one" when a person is going away for long. Surely it's not as common as wishing someone a nice day but it exists. – SovereignSun Jan 4 '18 at 7:58
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    I suppose you're right. Could be different uses in different regions too. To be honest, I don't hear it much here in Southern California. Whenever I do hear it (a few times a year?), it always strikes me as being artificially polite and little hokey. Like, something a deliveryman in a 1950s movie might say. – Ringo Jan 4 '18 at 8:26
  • Interesting! When I travelled to NYC, some years ago, I remember hearing young people saying "have a good one!". Afterwards I travelled a bit around New England, same thing there. Maybe it's very regional after all. – flen Jan 6 '18 at 6:38
  • @flen I spent thirty years of my life in Boston, and I can't say I've heard it all that much there, either. But maybe I wasn't attuned to noticing it. – Ringo Jan 6 '18 at 23:01
  • Maybe I got lucky;) but I received a fair share of "good ones". But thank you for the input! I'm pretty sure by now that it is regional and probably temporal also (maybe a fad in specific years?). On an unrelated note, I saw on your profile you worked for 3dRobotics, I read Anderson's "Makers" and thought it was brilliant. It really changed the way I think about the open source movement – flen Jan 8 '18 at 6:44

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