A friend in the UK sent me an email with 'Merry Crimbo' in the subject. I reckon it means Christmas but is it BrE /AmE and is it often used?
What's the difference between saying 'Merry Christmas' and 'Happy Holidays' ?
When do people start telling one other 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Hlidays' how long before the actual Christmas ?
Thanks a lot!
"Crimbo" (and "Crimble") are strictly BrE slang words for Christmas.
In the US, the traditional "Merry Christmas" greeting is being replaced by the more generic "Happy Holidays" out of sensitivity to folks, such as Jews and Muslims, who don't celebrate Christmas. If you are among friends or family whom you know recognize Christmas, then "Merry Christmas" is still commonly used. But if you're a clerk at a shop or talking to someone on the telephone that you don't know, "Happy Holidays" is now the preferred sentiment. When you wish someone "Happy Holidays," it means you wish them a happy Christmas, or Hannukah, or Kwanzaa, or whatever holiday they might recognize during December. After December 25, the greeting is usually revised to "Happy New Year."
As for when people start using the greeting, in the US it starts the day after Thanksgiving (which is the fourth Thursday in November).