In a japanese マンション I noticed that after sharing the common elevator when going back home at night, most of the female residents would greet by "お休みなさい" before leaving, while it seemed that male residents would remain silent in a similar situation.
Would it be considered inappropriate for male neighbours to greet one another with "お休みなさい"? If so, which polite alternative could they use?

2 Answers 2


I don’t think it anything inappropriate to say “お休みなさい“ to a male neighbor when you leave the elevator in the evening. “お休みなさい“ is a non-gender greeting word as well as “お早うございます,” “こんにちは,” and ”さようなら.”

But there are some people who don’t like to exchange greetings and words with not so close friends or others. I’ve met people who don’t respond to “お早うございます” and “今日は” from time to time, when I addressed them on the street. They look unfriendly, and it’s discouraging to be ignored. But so many men, so many minds. In such a case, you can lightly nod at him, and leave out the elevator in silence.


"お休みなさい" is appropriate for both genders.

Maybe your male neighbors are the people who don't greet in that situation. That's it. If they greeted orally when leaving, they might say "お休みなさい", too.

Just to be sure, I don't say that your male neighbors are more rude than the female neighbors. I guess some male neighbors might greet only when meeting, or greet by nodding slightly.

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