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"Be well."

Posted by Smokey Stover on March 26, 2006

In Reply to: "Be well." posted by Jack Haines on March 26, 2006

: "Be well." This is the second time I've heard this phrase (in Canada, specifically in Quebec) in two weeks. The first was when it was used in conversation instead of "Goodbye," "Bye-bye," "Take care," etc. And the second time was today, in text, when someone used it as a complimentary close in an e-mail.

: My question is, Is this a neologism or an old phrase? If not a recent phrase, could an origin be explained. Thank you.

I find that interesting. Local tradition? Recent fad? Whatever the case, it's not exactly new. Italian letter-writers of the Renaissance often closed their letters, "State sane," which means "Be well" or "Stay well." What, may I ask of those who know, was the equivalent that might have been used by the ancient Romans? I think they said something similar, when appropriate. SS