. . . and the rest of the day to yourself!

The correct response to the Irish greeting, “Top of the morning to you” is “and the rest of the day to yourself! ” That said,  there are many who believe that the purported phrase “top o’ the morning”  is nothing more than a myth to the Irish themselves.   Most of the Irish today may tell you they have never, heard even any one (other than the Lucky Charms commercials) use that phrase.  The greeting does appear in a World War I poem written by Henry Newbolt, which goes:  “So I laughed, and felt quite well disposed to the youngster, And shouted out “the top of the morning” to him, And wished him “Good sport!” and then I remembered, My rank, and his, and what I ought to be doing. . . “.  But Newbolt wasn’t Irish, he was British!    The greeting may have been used in Ireland during the Victorian era, since a novel written by Irish author Charles J. Kickham in 1879 contains a reference to the greeting: “And the words —”The top of the morning to you, Miss Grace,” suggested the idea that Father Hannigan affected the phraseology of the peasantry.” If anyone knows better, let me know!