Please Don’t Tell Me to “Have a Good Rest of the Day”

You may and can tell me to “Have a good day” or good morning or good afternoon or good evening.  But please.  I’m begging you.  Please do not use the sentence “Have a good rest of the day” to me.  Not now.  Not ever. Never.

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Oh yeah.  You can always tell me to have a good morning whilst I’m enjoying my cuppa Joe!

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And you are quite right when you tell me to have a good afternoon while enjoying a cuppa tea!

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….…and during these warm summer nights, it will be a pleasure to hear you wish me a good evening..

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…just don’t tell me to “have a good rest of the day”.  Please.  Just. Don’t. Thank you.

Before I go into my rant about that horrifically-worded phrase, please understand that I’m a most peasant person. In my office correspondence I’ll begin and end any letter, fax and email with pleasantries.

Seriously. I am. I am a pleasant person by nature.  And I’m happy.  As long as you don’t use certain phrases with me!

When on the phone, I’ll always be polite and amiable.

..and I can be a lot of laughs and fun when I’m on the phone too!

And depending upon the time, I’ll either use the phrase “Have a good day”, “Have a good afternoon” or…in some cases “Have a good evening”.


Why…I’m as polite as Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake as the Brothers Gibb!  I’m very proper!

When faxing, I usually end the facsimile with “Have a pleasant day” or “Have a pleasant afternoon”.

It isn’t that difficult to wish some niceness on someone.

Oh I’m a good witch!  Although some people would replace the “w” with  the letter “b”.  But I’m still a nice one!

So, why then, does the phrase “Have a good rest of the day” make me cringe every time I hear it?  Seriously.  It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard.  Even worse.  Do you remember when we had milk in wax containers?  You know the little ones that we would get in school in the 1960’s?  Every so often a little piece of wax would make its way into the milk and when it poured into my mouth, my gag reflexes were in full force.  That’s what happens when I hear that phrase.

If you’re around my age or older, you remember these little milk cartons that you would receive with school lunches.  There was  always an elusive piece of wax that would make it’s way into the milk and trust me it was disgusting.  These things also smelled of sour milk.  If you drank milk from these cartons you NEVER had a good rest of the day!

Where did it come from?  What imbecile started that ridiculously inane phrase?

I swear I’ve done that at the office when I hear people utter that horrible phrase.

Let’s break it down.  Have a good REST of the day.  To me, it means enjoy whatever rest you have today.  Be it a nap, or sitting down to read a good book or to play Candy Crush Saga—any activity that puts you at complete ease and comfort.  The fine art of resting.

I have a “good rest of the day” by sitting on the deck and reading a book!  Presently, I’m reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.  It’s a great way to rest…

For example.  I arrive home from Christmas shopping.  I’m lugging bags of gifts.  And since I love the element of surprise, decide to wrap everything.  When completed the errands and tasks, I need a rest.  I need a good rest.  It is my “good rest of the day”.  It is something I do.

And my favorite resting bitch place is the white loveseat in our little sunroom.  I’ve had many good rests of the day here!

Telling someone to have a good rest of the day is, in my most humble opinion, rather presumptuous.  What if the person on the other end of the phrase is unable to have a good rest?  Do you see where I’m coming?

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Yeah. Don’t EVER tell me to have a “good rest of the day” when I’m suffering from one of my infamous anxiety attacks.  And it happens often!

It’s these crazy phrases that have worked their way into normalcy.  Into business class.  Phrases like “No problem” rather than to say “You’re welcome” when someone thanks you.  “No problem is another one that drives me to eyeroll. And when you are cross-eyed such as I,  an eyeroll can look pretty creepy.

Please allow me to give you Anderson Cooper’s eyeroll. It’s much prettier than mine.  Besides, if you see MY eyeroll in all it’s lazy-eye-crossed beauty, you’ll have a rather traumatic rest of the day!

I’m telling you. When I hear that phrase, it almost ruins my rest-of-the-day.


Yes. It is. That’s because someone said to “have a good rest of the day”!

Case in point.   During the prep for Oona’s wedding, she had an early-morning appointment to have her legs waxed. (I’ll take the razor thank you).  This was 9:00 in the morning before our spray-tan appointment.

As we had a busy day ahead, I accompanied my daughter and waited in the reception area until she was done.  When she paid for the wax job, the receptionist, who was a very perky and cute young woman, told us to “Have a good rest of the day”.   When I questioned her on why she had to include “rest-of-the” rather than just say “Have a good day”, she gave me a look of utter surprise—as though I just cursed her out.  She seriously looked like she would cry.

Oona said I was rude. (I’ve heard those words come out of her mouth so many times…)  I digressed in the fact that all she needed to say was “Have a good day”.  The day had barely begun!  For Crissake—do you ever hear people say “Have a good rest of the afternoon” or “Have a good rest of the evening”?  No.  You don’t. That’s because it sounds even more idiotic than “Have a good rest of the day”.

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Um.  No daughter.  It isn’t rude.  I merely questioned an idiotic phrase than can be simplified with a more pragmatic message.

Honestly, I just don’t understand the use of that expression.  Please.  Let me know if you agree or disagree with me.  There are times when I do go overboard.  And there are times when I can be a bit—-contrary.

So, what do you think?  Has anyone told you to “Have a good rest of the day”?  What’s your reaction?  Do you even use that phrase?  If you do, I’m not even apologizing to you.  That’s how much I can’t stand that phrase.

With that being said.  Have a good evening.  I’m going upstairs to rest.  I’m going to have a good rest of the evening!

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Sweet dreams.  Nighty night.  G’nite.  Sleep tight.  But don’t have a good rest of the day!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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61 Responses to Please Don’t Tell Me to “Have a Good Rest of the Day”

  1. Molly says:

    Hi Catherine! I’ve always understood that phrase “have a good rest of the day” to mean “may your day going forward from this point be good” as in a time reference, not a relaxation reference. So it’s never bothered me. I’m not sure if that’s the issue here. But anyway, I really enjoy your blog and your sense of humor! Thanks for sharing your life with all of us pro-aging readers.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Molly! OH. I know have a good rest of the day isn’t about resting at all. It’s just that saying is sooooooooooooooooo grating on me. LOL! Have a great evening!!! XOXOXOXO

      • Molly Maloney says:

        Got it! Sometimes I take things too literally 🙂 You have a great evening, too! XO

  2. We all have those things that crawl under our skin. I understand where you are coming from.

  3. Anne M Bray says:

    This phrase has not slinked its evil way to SoCal. Or maybe I don’t get out much! “No problem” is as ubiquitous as cockroaches in NYC. (Shudder). Good day to you, madam.

    • Catherine says:

      HI Anne! Oy. Be thankful it hasn’t reached its way to SoCal. It’s bad enough I have to listen to this day in and day out. The “No problem” HAS taken the place of “Thank you!” And a good evening to you Anne! XOXOXO

    • William Tatum says:

      The term “SoCal” is as bad as “Frisco” .

  4. annelouiseinwinona says:

    Groooaaan – that’s like, “I’m too lazy to figure out what part of the day we’re in”. I’d rather hear even “Have a good one!” And when they say “No problem”, I want to snap at them, “I’m not talking about whether I caused you a problem!” I think it’s meant to convey about the same feeling as “My pleasure”, which is much more positive and sounds like they enjoyed doing it as much as we enjoyed receiving it. I’d much rather hear that courtly phrase.

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Yes! OH YES!! It is like being too lazy to figure out what time of day we are in. But I LOVE saying “my pleasure”. It resonates such positivity!! I’m going to start using that one more. I thank you..and it was my pleasure to read your comment! XOXOXOXO

  5. BMW says:

    Cranky. Overboard. What does it matter? Lighten up. There are much worse things going on in our world!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi BMW. Actually, it DOES matter to me or I wouldn’t have devoted an entire blog post to the phrase. And I am cranky. We all have the right to be cranky every now and then. And inasmuch as lightening up. I’ll lighten up after the blue wave takes over. Merci and Bonne Nuit!!! XOXOXO

      • Sean Leary says:

        This thread is 3 years old now. That “blue wave” was more like one guy (for Americans), which turned out terribly. It would be easier on your nerves to adjust and regroup. I recognize, to some change is unsettling. But it’s an unavoidable part of life. It seems that liberals have ignored the fact that because of George W. Bush, the overwhelming majority of conservatives shifted left. That should be more satisfactory than all the blue waves in history, yet still does not satisfy? Refusal to accept to a win, translates to a loss…for everyone, underscores war and again everyone loses with the exception of arms dealers. Dismissing half the world as Illegitimate is poor form and comes with a reckoning at a hefty personal cost.
        The old days of buddy system politics is drawing to a close. This is the movement that many liken to red or blue wave jargon. It’s neither. Instead, it’s a crying out of ALL those that have been marginalized and silenced by self-interested career politicians. It embodies the insistence of the masses for all peoples to be heard.

        On the original topic of using the statement “have a good rest of [your] day,” being disingenuous is the reason it perturbs. Those that use it seem to suggest that an individual can “own” a day. One cannot, because the [days] belong to all of us and none of us simultaneously. We do not make the sun come up or go down. We merely arise from slumber and return to it. Therefore, that statement is thinly veiled contempt and implies a desire for the opposite to happen. It is the hallmark of a dopamine addicted society in desperate need for their next “fix.” They are saying that they would be enjoying the remainder of [their] day if [you] hadn’t come along.

        With that, if I don’t hear from you again, good morning, good afternoon and goodnight.

  6. Helen says:

    In the UK it is quite unusual to hear “Have a nice day”. So I was really knocked off-guard when a few days ago I was hit with the dreaded phrase “Have a nice rest of the day”. I found I didn’t know how to respond. I thanked her and hoped that she would too, then realised she probably wouldn’t as she was working and dug a deep pit for myself by adding “That’s if you can”. Total embarrassment.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Helen. Ohhhh in my husband’s homeland of France–especially in Paris, you’ll NEVER hear “HAGROTD” tYou can be “rest” assured of that one! It’s such a new Americanism. I can visualize customer service people smiling as they say that phrase and as soon as the customer is out of sight, they’ll be badmouthed! XOXOXOXO

  7. I’m also from Southern California. I’ve never heard that. I don’t think it would bother me but I’m sure other things would So it’s just your thing and that’s just fine.

  8. Momcat says:

    I totally understand your despair! It’s right up there with that ridiculous “How is everything tasting?”
    Dunno, wanna try it? . I am here to eat NOT to taste.
    How about just asking “How is everything?” Or “Are you enjoying everything”? Even “Is everything to your taste”? ( although that sounds very pretentious)
    Have a good rest of your day? So awkward sounding.Try “Enjoy the rest of the day” but I guess we have to take good wishes when we get them regardless how they are phrased.
    Bonne soirée;)

    • Catherine says:

      Momcat! I’ve never heard the phrase “How is everything tasting?” If I had, I would have answered “I dunno. Please let me ask my food then I’ll get back to you”
      But HAGROTD. You make a good point about accepting good wishes no matter how they are phrased. But even when I hear it, it just doesn’t sound genuine. It always sounds fake and forced. Oh well. As long as I’m not saying it!!! Enjoy your evening my friend!! XOXOXOXO

  9. Linda Gordon says:

    Your sense of humor is so funny Cathi. I understand your feelings regarding how people say farewell to you. Since moving down South I really dislike people who don’t know me say, How can I help you young lady? Or sweetie,love or honey. I fine it disrespectful. Times have changed. Thanks for letting me express my feelings.

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Linda! LOL. Do you think the nuns at St. Pat’s would have allowed us to say that phrase. It’s poor grammar! Thanks for getting my sense of humor too. I tried to make this a bit on the humorous side! Ugh. I don’t care too much when people call me sweetie or whatever–especially when they don’t know me. You are spot on with that! Thanks Linda!!!! XOXOXOXO

  10. boise1950 says:

    I concur. Up there with the “no problem” you mentioned as well as my continued abhorrence of “I could care less!” That said, like you, I’m a polite person who cringes at such phrasing, but doesn’t make an issue of it. However, I fear I might roll my eyes out loud from time to time. Hah! Dottie

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Dottie! Oh that “I could care less” drives me bananas. I also find “he don’t, she don’t…also quite vulgar. Use the correct grammar that was taught in school. Although I do not go up to people to correct them, I just cringe!! XOXOXOXOXO

  11. Amy Kalama says:

    Personally, I work with sick people and dying patients and their families and if one of them wishes me to have a good rest of your day, I say thank you and take it with the good will intended. I guess I have other areas that are more of an issue for me.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Amy, I work in healthcare/disability and my take is slightly different. I speak with people who are gravely ill and when I do speak with them they are not in the best place emotionally. The last thing I’m going to tell them is have a good rest of the day or good day or anything to that effect. I respect their wishes and my job is to make them aware that they will be helped, aided and taken care of with empathy. And the appropriate wording is incredibly important. However, like you said, being on the receiving end of their phrases is a different ballgame! XOXOXOXO

  12. Amy Kalama says:

    Personally, I work with sick people and dying patients and their families and if one of them wishes me to have a good rest of your day, I say thank you and take it with the good will intended. I guess I have other areas that are more of an issue for me.

  13. Judy says:

    I’m with you in regard to the “No problem” phrase, the other hasn’t come up very often in the UK. An American friend feels the same as you and responds “Thank you, but I have other plans”, always with a sweet smile. 😀

  14. I can ,,hear,, how loud you are! I even hear the accent! Fabulous!

  15. Cathy says:

    Love the Schitt’s Creek reference!

  16. Baa says:

    I agree with you it’s odd. I’ve found (at least around here) that it’s mainly younger people (I’m 60) 25 & younger that say it. As for milk cartons we had glass bottles with a cardboard pop top that was difficult to get out of the bottle top without making a mess. We also had a choice of regular white milk, chocolate milk or coffee milk (I lived in RI & went to Catholic school).
    I don’t think the nuns would have approved a” have a nice rest of your day.”

    • Catherine says:

      Baa. I went to Catholic school as well. In all honesty, the nuns that taught me would have gone ballistic if any of us said that phrase simply because it’s ridiculous. Why add the “rest of the” it is redundant, needless and inessential. At my office I hear all ages saying it and I cringe every single time! Thank you so much for your comment!!! XOXOXOXO

  17. Bridget says:

    This is not something that bothers me any more than “Have a nice day” or any other similar comment. I’ve often said it myself, to be honest. I guess when I say it I’m just trying to be polite regardless of the time of day.

    “No problem” doesn’t really bother me either. I am of the belief that if you get a response at all, you’re ahead of the game. If it’s said in a pleasant or polite manner, it’s a win.

    I would rather have someone say either of those than ignore me or grunt.

  18. Marsha calhoun says:

    I also have been hearing this more and more often, and like you, I cringe. I find that smiling and saying brightly, “I’m hoping to make it to midnight!” elicits first a puzzled look, then a smile, and then (I am hoping) some reflection on the general silliness of the sentiment. But I do know that it is offered as a (rote) pleasantry, and I accept it as such.

    • Catherine says:

      Marsha. We have a winning reply!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I”m going to use that! And wait for the reaction!!! Have a pleasant evening!!! XOXOXOXO

  19. I have to admit I’ve never heard that phrase. What do you think of this comment? Once, a lady bumped into me and apologized. I said, “You’re good.” Her response? “I already know that!” And, she didn’t say it with a smile. Now, I honestly don’t know what to say if “No problem” is off the playing table…though I do know you are using it in a different context. In general, grammar has fallen off the radar, I think. I blame it on high stakes testing. When I was teaching, something had to go, so grammar received very little of the academic day. I was told to teach it in context of creative writing…as the need arose! My poor students had to diagram sentences…I was that teacher! Thanks for another thought provoking post!

  20. Maryellen Reardon says:

    All right, all right – I will confess to using that phrase at times. But I think it is only at work and on occasions when the morning kinda sucks and we laugh it off by saying, ‘well, anyway, have a good rest of the day!’ Apologies for causing a finger on the chalkboard moment, right there….

    It’s good to know these things – I never knew anyone was cringing!

    I love your posts!

  21. Julie says:

    For me, it’s “can I help who’s next?”. I cringe every time I hear it! And I hear it quite frequently!

  22. Justyna says:

    It’s almost a year since this was posted, time for another comment!
    Is the phrase so annoying to you also because it sounds a little incorrect? I’m not a native speaker and I thought this was incorrect, and “Have a nice remainder of the day” was a better choice. Does that one should a bit better for you, or just as awful?
    I admit to using the latter occasionally as a customer service agent, as a variation from “Have a nice day” and such… but I’ll reconsider!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Justyna. You bring up a good point. Sticking “remainder” makes it a much better choice. Personally, I’m so used to dividing my days into Morning, Afternoon and evening that I just mention the timliness of the day. Thank you! And have a great afternoon! (I’m writing this comment in the afternoon!! ) XOXOXOXO

  23. Brett says:

    In all sincerity, I agree that “Have a good (or great) rest of your day!” is an awkward and somewhat grating term. It has grown more and more common over the course of the past 4 or 5 years. I understand that those who make the statement mean it in a nice way. Hence, I do my best to receive the rather unwieldy statement as gracefully and graciously as I assume (or pretend) the person bidding me adieu, goodbye, so long, have a great day/night. My actual assumption is that people who use the phrase are searching for a way to sound simultaneously intelligent and folksy. Failure arrives with this and becomes an additional burden heaped upon the already struggling language of English. At any rate, it will help very little to make an effort to bluntly correct those who use the phrase, so I simply offer to them in return as I depart — “Thank you! I hope you too enjoy the balance of your day.”

    • Catherine says:

      Brett. I love your departing reply to those who tell you to have a good rest of the day. I’m such a borderline misanthrope that I’ve been letting people how I feel about that phrase. It is right up there with “anyways”. Anyways is not a word and yet everyone and their mother uses it. And I correct everyone who uses it. I was actually blocked by an Instragam poster for correcting her on the horrific use of that word! XXOXOXO

      • Brett says:

        Ah, yes. “Anyways”. Another very annoying lump in language that grates my spine. It rates right up there with “eXpescially”.

  24. Martha SCOTT says:

    It drives me crazy to hear that idiotic phrase!! Especially when the person is over 40 years old! I generally am so bothered by it that I just roll my eyes and say “thanks” instead of a cheerful “you, too” that I used to say to “have a good day.”

    Pleasssssseeee….make it stop!! 🤪

  25. Chaz Rich says:

    I almost get physically ill when I hear it! I’m a retired SLP and it drives me crazy! So have a nice fucking day!!!

  26. only haver says:

    yes I HATE IT, AND OFTEN think what can i tell them to stop saying that!. i also dislike, not a problem i say to them, it is a problem if you say that, or its problematic to say that to me or, cant u just say you are welcome.. i will tell someone please dont say rest of to me!

  27. Grammarwaffen says:

    I was just complaining about this to my wife today. I can’t stand it. And then, just now, I took a Google survey, and at the end, it said “We hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.”

    By the way, you referred to yourself, above, as a “peasant person.” I’m sure you meant “pleasant,” but it was funny nonetheless.

  28. Ramon Salazar says:

    This is a bit sad. I am a frequent user of the phrase “have a nice/good rest of your day”, and I can honestly say that I’ve never used it in a disingenuous way. Reading this blog post makes me wonder how many people took my well-intended message almost as an insult (based on some of the comments). Luckily none of my recipients ever replied with any of the suggestions given by some of your readers. That would have been quite heartbreaking.

    By the way, I’m a bit of a grammar enthusiast myself. Do you mind me asking how is “have a nice/good rest of your day” grammatically incorrect? I truly cannot see a problem with that sentence.

    Regardless, I did enjoy your writing and your charm. Sorry if my reply sounds dramatic, but I hope you understand it is disheartening to learn that one is offending people while simply trying to be sincerely nice to others.

    • Catherine says:

      HI Ramon. Thank you so much for your thoughts on how I feel about that (in my opinion) “cringe-worthy” saying. While I realize that you truly mean for people to have a good “rest of the day”–in the literal sense does it mean enjoy or have a “rest”? I could see saying “Enjoy the remainder of your day”–that would make more sense to me. But that other phrase just gets under my skin. It is up there with the phrase “top o’ the mornin’ to you” –being that my grandparents came to this country in the 1920’s, and as a relatively “new” American, that phrase drives me cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. I’ve yet to hear any of my Irish relatives use that expression–and they all live across the pond. I’m rambling. Thank you for your comment though. I really appreciate it! XOXOXOXO

  29. Jennifer Frey Brewer says:

    I HATE this expression! I don’t understand why someone is telling me to have a good rest. Which rest? Why, the one of the day, of course! To be clear, have is not a verb by itself. Have is a helping verb that goes with rest. Have rest. Enjoy the rest of your day would make more sense without the helping verb “have”. In this case, enjoy is the verb and rest is used as “remainder”. Or even, Enjoy the remainder of your day.

    When someone says this to me, I pretend whine and ask why I only get one?? When my children were younger, I would answer that I’m a mom of 5 and I don’t get a rest! They often don’t understand my reaction or my response. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to explain when, as a dental hygienist, I am usually escorting them to the door to prepare for my next patient.

  30. Debra Jackson says:

    Yes, absolutely cringe-worthy. My friend says it, people I don’t know say it to me, people sign off on business email with it, and I so want to tell them what awkward grammar it is. I’m a stickler for grammar, punctuation, spelling, all that old-school stuff, and this is definitely one that drives me around the bend when I hear it. I don’t feel anyone is actually offended by the phrase, but I do know some of us cringe and most of us do our best to not lose our cool and tell the well-meaning person it’s awkward and to please stop it.

  31. Jackie says:

    I was shopping with my 20 something year old daughter when after buying things at 2 stores they would say “Have a good rest of your day”. I turned to my daughter and asked “Was I not already having a good day?” It puts me in a bad mood for the rest of my day

  32. Dawn says:

    I HATE IT SOOOOOOO MUCH! It seems to have come out of thin air! I want to slap people that say it….i can’t help it! I also hate “my bad”. You can not possess an adjective!!

  33. Debra Jackson says:

    She’s still doing it…my friend. She’s a hair stylist and she says it to all her clients as they leave. If she were just about anyone else I would have suggested an alternative by now, but she’s an odd one and would be SO offended. How about “Enjoy the rest of your day.” ? Simple, rolls off the tongue and it’s proper/non-awkward grammar. And I agree with the others who don’t like “no problem” as a response to “thank you”. Or the really casual one “uh huh” (yegads). Yes, I know they mean well, but there are some niceties in the English language that I don’t want to lose. Oh, and “my bad” can disappear anytime. I used it once and cringed at myself.

  34. Sue says:


    You are simply correct in your disdain for the phrase. You have given me the courage to stand up for my rights as an older coworker to young people. I WILL tell the 21 year old receptionist to say, “farewell” or “thank you fir calling” or even “see ya!” Just never say those words together again!

    P.S. I love your writing! I hope you enjoy the day!

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