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[hou-duh-yuh-doo] /ˈhaʊ də yəˈdu/

noun, plural how-do-you-dos. Informal.
a greeting; salutation:
She smiled and gave him a how-do-you-do fit for a king.
an awkward or unpleasant event or situation:
It’s a fine how-do-you-do that they’ve refused to help us out.
(used as a conventional greeting).
sentence substitute
Also how do?, how d’ye do?. a formal greeting said by people who are being introduced to each other or are meeting for the first time
(informal) a difficult situation
A conventional greeting used mostly after being introduced to someone, as in And this is our youngest—say “How do you do” to Mr. Smith. Although it is a question, it requires no reply. Originally, in the 1600s, this expression was an inquiry after a person’s health or standing, how do you do meaning “how do you fare?” Today we usually express this as How are you? or How are you doing? or How goes it? or How’s it going? Even more general are the slangy locutions How are things? or How’s tricks? All of these greetings date from the first half of the 1900s.


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