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I noticed this on few occasions. Unfortunately, I can't remember exact situations.

I want to clear if どうも in a role of 'hello' is a shortened version of some longer phrase or just a thing on it's own. When is it okay to use it? Does it have any hidden nuance?

Thanks in advance.

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Doumo, Yang-san! –  dimadesu May 19 at 18:59

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

In case you don't want to or can't read the article Yang linked to, it begins by quoting two senses listed in the [日本国語大辞典]{にほんこくごだいじてん} which I will reproduce here in Japanese and translation:

④感謝したり詫びたりする気持ちを含む挨拶(あいさつ)に用いる。内容も省略し、「どうもどうも」と重ねて用いることも多い。(以下、用例略。)

⑤あいまいな、または安易な挨拶のことばとして用いる(以下、用例略。)

And my translation:

(4) Used as a greeting that include feelings of gratitude and apology. Frequently, both the contents [for which one is grateful or apologizing] are omitted and the word is repeated as "dōmo dōmo" (following usage examples omitted). (5) Used as a greeting ambiguously or lightly.

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So, basically, I can use it as 'hi' and to say sorry and there is no hidden meaning and nuance there, right? –  dimadesu May 19 at 15:00
    
@dimadesu not sure what you mean by hidden nuance, but picking the right greeting while straying away from おはようございます and こんにちは can get pretty complex pretty quickly. I think どうも could be a rather rude greeting in some social contexts. I seem to recall this being the standard greeting in dramas from unwanted stepchildren dropped off at the door. Normally, you'd probably want to throw on a 、よろしくお願いします afterwards to make it more respectable. –  virmaior May 19 at 15:31
    
Perfect! This is the 'hidden nuance' I was looking for. Thanks! –  dimadesu May 19 at 18:58
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I guess the 「重ねて」here does not mean "overlap" but "repeatedly"? So it's actually saying "it's often used in the repeated form "domo domo" with the very contents omitted"? –  Noir May 20 at 4:35
    
@Noir it took me a little while to catch what you meant, but I think you are correct and have amended the wording. –  virmaior May 20 at 5:56

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