a closing statement


valediction = Abschied, Abschiedsworte; Abschiedsrede —— valediction (at the end of a letter or message) = Grußformel (am Schluss eines Briefes oder einer Nachricht)



“In addition to keeping him on as head of NIAID, President Biden made Fauci his chief medical advisor, a VALEDICTION to more than a half-century of public service.”

Melissa Healy - Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times (22nd December 2022)

Did you


- the act of saying goodbye, especially formally, or a formal speech in which someone says goodbye

- an expression used to say farewell, especially a word or phrase used to end a letter or message; complimentary close (U.S.)

The Cambridge Dictionary / Oxford Languages


“Valediction“ is from the early 1610s, from the Latin valedicere “bid farewell, take leave", from vale “farewell!”, from second person singular imperative of valere “be well, be strong”.


The best way to end an email may well be “Best”, shortening “Best wishes”. Perfect for those with little time for the full phrase.

“Best” is also a proxy for the slightly more cheerful “All the best”, which in turn is a shortened version of “I wish you all the best of luck”.

At the very least, “Best” is better than “Yours” (short for “Yours sincerely” or “Yours faithfully” – throwbacks from a bygone age when written communication involved real effort and aching, ink-stained hands).

So,... what email closures should you favour? How about what people actually say in real life? … words like “Thanks”, “Nice one”, or simply “Cheers!" (a reminder that the world of the pub and the dinner table still exists beyond the screen).

Another option is simply to end with nothing. Just say what you have to say, press send, and be on your way. Will people be able to handle such brevity? I’d like to think so,… unless you’re doing business in Japan, where curtness may come across like a slap in the face!

Plaudits to Joseph Richardson of Barnaby-Benson for inspiring this entry!


adieu, afterpiece, arrest, closer, closing, coda, conclusion, crowning achievement, crowning glory, culmination, curtain, cutoff, denouement, endgame, end piece, epilogue, farewell (performance), final act, final appearance, final curtain, finale, final gesture (performance, scene, word), finis, goodbye, grand finale, homestretch, last act, last hurrah, last part (shot, word), leave-taking, outro, parting song, sign-off, swan song, valedictory, VALEDICTION, wind-up, wrap-up

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“There’s something really charming about olden time VALEDICTIONS. Lord Byron signed off a letter to his former tutor and friend Henry Drury: ‘The cock is crowing; I must be going’.

THANKS to Anke & Gloria for suggesting today’s word

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:


Paul Smith, IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

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