Learn English – Is it appropriate to use “Hey yourself”


I've heard this phrase in a couple of movies, it was being used like this:

-Hey, John!

-Well, hey yourself, Mike!

Sounds pretty simple, but my question is about how appropriate is it to say that in a conversation. It sounds a little "offensive" to me, and in the movies it was being used with a negative meaning (e.g. greeting a person who you don't really like to see/talk with).

So does it really have a "negative" meaning, or am I wrong?

Best Answer

Some people consider hey to be an inappropriate greeting ("Hay is for horses"), but among those who do not, I wouldn't say that hey yourself has any inherently negative connotation. Its meaning is literal: hey to you as well

I could say it dismissively or menacingly, but also flirtatiously or cordially. In such casual exchanges, the tone, tempo, body language, and other cues will impart far more meaning.