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

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


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:



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 '14 at 15:00
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    @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 '14 at 15:31

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