Is it Rude to Say Hi There?

Whether meeting and speaking in person or beginning communications through email or text messages, there are numerous ways to greet a person, including using the term “hi there”. 

But, is it considered rude to greet someone with hi there? Read on below and find out the real answer to this question!

Is it Rude to Say Hi There?

While it is not exactly rude to begin a conversation with “hi there”, generally speaking, it isn’t considered very polite or formal either. It is much better to stick with a semi-casual or formal greeting, such as “hello”, “hi”, or “it’s nice to meet you”.

How Rude Is it?


Greeting someone who is not your best friend or a close family member with “hi there” rates 7 out of 10 on the rude meter. The less you know someone, or if you are speaking in a work environment, the ruder it may seem to say hi there instead of hi or hello. 

Even a “hey” is considered more appropriate a greeting than hi there.

Why is it Rude?

Saying “hi there” indicates a less than casual tone, which many people are likely to find rude, whether at school, work, or otherwise. There are much better ways to greet people than using the careless term “hi there”, most of which take minimal effort.

Other Options to Do Instead

Instead of starting a conversation or greeting someone with “hi there”, consider using one of the following options instead:

  • Hi
  • Hello
  • Hey
  • How are you?
  • It is nice to meet you
  • It’s a pleasure
  • It is good to see you again
  • Good morning (afternoon, or evening)

You may also simply jump straight into what you have to talk about, as a sort of mental trick to rush past your choice of words for greeting.

Common Questions

Is it formal to say hi there as a greeting?

It is not considered formal to say hi there. Saying hi there is often considered less than casual, to the point of being somewhat careless or disrespectful. Other times, however, the use of hi there is done in a playful manner among friends or lovers.

What to say rather than hi there?

There are a plethora of ways to say hi there including hi, hello, hey, how are you doing, it’s nice to meet you, the pleasure is all mine, and more. The sky is the limit, truthfully, when it comes to greeting others in text or spoken word.

What does hi there actually mean?

Saying hi there to someone means nothing more or less than “hello”. So, why is it rude? Well, it isn’t exactly always rude, but it does make people feel less important (if you don’t know them well), when you use such careless language to address them.

Is hi there proper to use in email?

It’s ok to use hi there in an email greeting with people that you know or people that you deal with on a regular basis. Otherwise, it is considered rude to be less than casual to start an email with hi there.