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many happy returns

This page is about the conversational phrase many happy returns

Meaning

This is used to wish someone happiness on their birthday.

For example

  • At my birthday dinner, Dad held up his glass and said, "Many happy returns, son."

  • Emma didn't want anyone else to know it was her birthday, so she told me not to say "Many happy returns".

Note:
Can also be written on a birthday card, a note, an SMS, a tweet, etc.

Quick Quiz

You can say "Many happy returns" to

a. anyone at a birthday party

b. someone on your birthday

c. someone on their birthday

Contributor: Matt Errey