Many happy returns


      • wish someone a happy birthday
        to greet someone on their birthday and wish them happiness and good fortune for the coming year

      • express hope for continued success
        to wish someone continued success, prosperity, and happiness in the future

    Examples of Many happy returns

    • The guest of honor at the birthday party received many happy returns on her gifts.

      This is a common way to use the idiom "many happy returns." It is a wish for the person celebrating their birthday, anniversary, or any other special occasion to have many happy returns on the gifts they receive. The phrase "many happy returns" is a polite way to say thank you for the gifts, and it implies that the person receiving the gifts will have many happy memories associated with them.

    • The charity organization received many happy returns on their annual fundraising event.

      In this context, "many happy returns" is a metaphorical expression that means the charity received a great deal of positive outcomes from their fundraising event. This might mean that they raised a large amount of money, had a high number of donors, or that the event was well-organized and successful.

    • The presentation received many happy returns from the audience.

      This use of the idiom "many happy returns" is a metaphorical way to say that the presentation was well-received and enjoyed by the audience. It expresses hope that the audience will have many happy memories of the presentation, as opposed to being bored or disappointed.

    • There were many happy returns on the company's shares following the announcement of their latest financial results.

      In this example, "many happy returns" is being used to describe an increase in the value of company shares following the release of positive financial results. This implies that investors and shareholders are happy with the company's performance, and they expect future financial results to be positive as well. It is a common expression used in the stock market to indicate a positive return on investment.

    • Jane's birthday is today! Wishing her many happy returns on this special day.

      The idiom "many happy returns" is used when wishing someone a happy birthday, as the phrase "happy birthday" typically only covers the birthday itself. The idea behind "many happy returns" is that the celebrant will have many happy occasions and returns to celebrate in the future. This adds an extra layer of goodwill and sincerity to the birthday wishes.

    • The book was an instant success, with many happy returns on its initial investment.

      Here, "many happy returns" is being used as a financial idiom, meaning that the book has produced a significant profit for its investors. This is similar to how in the previous example, "many happy returns" was used to wish someone a happy birthday and a future full of happy experiences.

    • The project was a massive undertaking, but the positive feedback has resulted in many happy returns for the team's hard work.

      The phrase "many happy returns" is used here to denote the positive outcomes or benefits that have resulted from the project. Just like how on someone's birthday, you wish them many happy returns for all the good times they'll have in the future, this idiom is used to express gratitude for the positive outcomes that have resulted from previous hard work or efforts.

    • The company launched a new product, and it has generated many happy returns in terms of customer satisfaction.

      Similarly, in this example, the idiom "many happy returns" is used to express that the company's new product has led to a lot of satisfied customers, which will hopefully result in continued success for the company in the future. The meaning behind this idiom is a combination of happy outcomes and future returns, which is applied in a variety of contexts, beyond just birthday wishes.


    The idiom "Many happy returns" is commonly used to wish someone a happy birthday and to express hope for their continued success and happiness in the future. It is a warm and friendly way to extend good wishes to someone on their special day and to convey goodwill for the future.

    Origin of "Many happy returns"

    The origin of the idiom "Many happy returns" dates back to the 18th century, where it was originally used as a greeting to wish someone a happy birthday and a prosperous year ahead. The word "returns" in this context refers to the cyclical nature of birthdays, and the hope that the person will continue to experience happiness and good fortune in the years to come. Over time, the phrase has evolved to also express well-wishes for continued success and prosperity in general, beyond just birthdays. It has become a popular and heartfelt way to convey positive sentiments and good wishes to others.