An Ethel Among Mermans (thornwolf) wrote in royalewcheese,
An Ethel Among Mermans


My boyfriend is from Germany and he always answers his phone by saying his last name. Some folks here in the US do that too but its not as common, most of us answer with "hello?". He told me that in Germany it is considered rude to answer with "hello?". While I can understand that point to a degree I still never really thought of it as actually /rude/, just inconvenient.

What do you guys think?
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... rude?

I can understand saying "Hello" first when you're the CALLER being perceived as rude (although even then I think it's just a social nicety before saying whatever you called to say, like "Hello, this is John Doe, may I speak to the head of household?"), but I think the assumption most people make is that if you're calling someone, you KNOW who they are, or at least who you're hoping to get through to, and you simply need to them to make some noise to indicate they've picked up the line. Then you, the caller, can proceed with the purpose of the call. So it doesn't much matter what the person answering the phone says initially.

In the time of cell phones, answering with your name seems even less neccessary.
On the other hand, answering with your name quickens the process of finding out whether the person calling has called the right number.
Exactly what he said, it was more of a confirmation than anything and it avoids a lot of "who is this?"
its not so much saying "hello" as a greeting, but asking the question "hello?" when answering the phone, like "hello is someone on the line?". My guess is its like you wouldn't answer your work phone with "hello?" you would say "hi this is such and such business"
My husband (Swiss) does that. Problem is - just like 98% of the people I've heard answering their phones here in Switzerland, they mumble their name and you can't understand them anyway.

Rude or not, at home I answer with "hello". People always introduce themselves and ask for whomever anyway, me saying my last name or saying hello doesn't make a difference.

Saying my name when I answer the phone makes me feel like I'm at work. I'm at work enough hours of the day, don't want to feel like I'm still there when I'm at home :)
I find people here in sweden mostly answer with their first name. last name is a bit out of fashion I suppose. there is another habit of answering with your phone number, also to help the caller know he or she dialed the right number.

When people answer hello, cause some do too here, I always feel insecure of who I'm talking to and that I consider rude :-)
oh, and my boyfriend, who is german, answer with his first name too. not only that, when he calls someone in germany up, and they answer (probably using their own name), he doesn't say hello this is.., but instead only says his first name. When he calls me tho, he only says hello after I answered
My mother lived in Germany for a decent chunk of her life, and answers the phone with her first name.
In India, we always answer with a Hello and when I try to answer with my last requested by my German husband, I almost always giggle!