How was your night? Really!
I will start off by saying that the question “How was your night?”, doesn’t actually mean anything. Or does it? Ask yourself. Think about it. “How was your night?” is a meaningless question in itself. We should clear that up.
So, to the ordinary Nigerian person, there is nothing wrong with asking someone how their night was. Nigerians play around with this greeting leisurely.
When you resume work at your office in the morning, the common greeting you will receive is “Good morning, how was your night?”
The person asking this question doesn’t really think that there is anything wrong with asking it. And the person responding to this question is expected to reply with the usual answer, “Fine!”. What that means is that, the night was fine.
But to the British folks, the original owners of English Language, this question as innocent as it may be, is very misplaced and is considered nosy. This may come as a surprise to you or you may already be aware of this fact.
Either way, original English speakers don’t ask that question because it is considered rude, nosy and nasty. If you check into Nigerian languages, there is no such thing as a greeting like “How was your night?”. Whether in Yoruba language, Igbo, Hausa or whatever Nigerian Language, there is no greeting like “How was your night?”..
So, how did this weird greeting become regularized in Nigeria? Nobody knows. But one can guess that maybe our forefathers and fore mothers during the colonial era, heard it from the colonial masters, and thought it was a cool greeting. Maybe… Just maybe.
So, why is the greeting “How was your night?” a wrong question to ask?
Well, the English folks only ask you this question to inquire about a person’s sexual intercourse the night before. It is understood that when an English person is teasing another person with this question, it means that they are just joking with each other and they are very close.
In an English man’s understanding, the only reason you should be asking that question, is if you are best friends or close friends with the person you’re asking and you know that the person went to bed with someone the night before. That is the only logical reason why you should ask “How was your night?”.
If you ask an English native as a Yoruba acquaintance, how their night was, they will get offended and they will ask you why you are poking your nose in matters that are none of your business. So, please be careful.
Quick meme has some sorta funny response
Also, another reason why the question is wrong is that, only Doctors ask this question to sick patients in the hospital wards. It is well known that most sick patients find night time hard. Why? It is hard for them to fall asleep, and also lots of deaths of sick patients happen at night. It is therefore totally well placed for a doctor to ask how the patient’s night was.
This is a really heartfelt question from the Doctor because the doctor knows it would have been tough for the patient through the night. So, to the English natives, the only reasons you have to ask the question, “How was your night?” is if you are a Doctor and you are talking to a sick patient, or if you are close friends with someone and you want to ask them in a teasing way, how their sexual intercourse was the night before.
It is only in these two instances that you are allowed to ask this offensive and annoying question, “How was your night?”.
I think the English people are very right to be offended by this question. Why? You don’t have any business in another person’s sexual life whatsoever. Yes.. I know that when you asked the question, you didn’t mean it that way. But to an English native, they can’t see it that way. That sort of question is never asked in English countries. So, please respect another person’s language and don’t ask an inappropriate question.
So, instead of “How was your night?” What do I say to greet in the morning?
Well, there are a number of other questions you can ask your colleagues. You can say, “Hope you slept well?” or “Hope you had a sound sleep?” or just stick to the good old, “Good morning, how are you?” in peace.
But even if you are in Nigeria and you are not speaking to any English native, it is still wise to ask the right questions. Try to scrap “How was your night?” from your vocabulary of greetings and replace it with, “did you sleep well?” or “Hope you slept well?” This is the right thing to do!
Also, Nigerians are starting to realize that, “How was your night?” doesn’t actually mean anything.
Okay na, ask yourself. What special thing happens at the night that you are asking the person about? At night, we fall asleep. We close our eyes and open them when it is morning. That’s really what happens! So, why are you asking how a person’s night was?
Nothing really special happened! Or did anything happen? You can ask “How was your day?” After all, lots of things happen during the day. But, “how was your night” is just not a right question. It doesn’t make any sense. To clear this up, and make you more convinced, search for How was your night on Google. And you will see several articles of different authors venting on how annoying it can be to get asked the question.
Some of the problems with the question is that, there is no answer for it. When a person asks “how was your night”, apart from the sexual suggestions in it, it doesn’t make sense. Does the person want to know about my nightmares? If I dreamed any horrible nightmares? If I died in my sleep? Or what? “How was your night?” should only be used when appropriate. For normal day to day greetings, stick to “Hope you slept well?”.