Here Are What These Email Sign-offs Really Mean


June 18, 2019

In your lifetime, you are bound to come across all sorts of people from different parts of the world. No matter where you go, I can bet you’ll never meet anyone who’s more passive-aggressive than the average Nigerian. 

When a Nigerian tells you ‘please’ it could mean anything from a polite ‘excuse me’ to ‘go fuck yourself’. Our passive-aggressive nature also seeps into the way we write emails.

‘Cheers’, ‘Best wishes’, ‘Thanks’ are all common sing-offs we’ve both received and sent in emails. Here’s what they and other sing-offs really mean. 

Thanks 

This one could go either way, it could be a genuine thanks for a service rendered or a job well done. Or it could mean this is your final warning if I send a follow-up email both of will jam in HR. For example ‘It’ll be great if you could get that report which was due 2 days ago to me by tomorrow, Thanks!’ 

Enjoy the rest of your day 

Almost always means quite the opposite. If an ‘enjoy the rest of your day’ doesn’t come after a long list of tasks you couldn’t possibly finish in one day, it’ll come after an email notifying you that your salary is going to be delayed that month.

Best of luck 

No one truly wishing you good luck says ‘best of luck’. It doesn’t help that ‘best of luck’ is usually used to sign off on bad news. Like ‘I’m sorry we can’t accommodate your services at this point, best of luck in future endeavours.’ or ‘I’m sorry after working with us for 7 years without ever progressing in your career we are laying you off. But best of luck!’ It quite literally means you are not my problem anymore.

Best. 

One word, followed by a full stop always. Curt and straight to the point to let you know that you’ve already taken up too much of their time with your email and they’d prefer if you’d stop contacting them. 

I look forward to hearing from you 

The suffix we all know follows this but no one dares to add is ‘I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible. As soon as possible being as soon as you receive this mail, not 24 hours later and definitely not a week later. Also, I’ll be sending follows ups so don’t expect this to be the last you hear from me.’ 

If it’s no bother 

You already know it’s a bother. The person you are sending it to knows it’s a bother. You don’t care that it’s a bother to the other person, but just so at the very least you can’t be accused of being impolite you add ‘hope it’s no bother’ to a very inconvenient request. Again, you know it’s a bother, but do you care? Nope because you are making the request anyway.

I’m going to copy in …

You don’t that Kevin Hart skit where he goes someone come take a look at this. This one. 

That’s what people do when they CC other people in your mail. When they receive your email, picture them staring at it like I can’t see this foolishness alone I have to involve other people so you can also explain your foolishness to them.

Do let me know if I can be of more help 

‘No I probably can’t and everything that is contained in this email is all the help I have to offer you. Also even though I’m asking you to let me know how I can be of more help I’d really appreciate if you don’t contact me regarding this issue again. Ok? Great!’

I look forward to your feedback on this. 

‘What I’m truly looking forward to is a reply to this mail approving whatever I’m working on. If you have any feedback outside of this, I’d appreciate if you kept it to yourself.’

Signing off with just your name 

I really couldn’t be bothered to think of something polite to sign off this mail with, because you are that insignificant to me. Either that or you are in a load of trouble and whoever is sending the email is beyond pissed. 

Thanks in advance 

‘I know you haven’t agreed to take on this impossible task, I have asked off you, but I’m sending a ‘thanks in advance’ to hopefully box you into saying a yes.’

Respectfully 

‘No, not really but you are probably several years older than me or several ranks above me at work and I don’t want to be accused of being rude.’ This is the email equivalent of never using your left hand to collect something from an older person.

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