あけおめ (akeome) is a casual Japanese New Year’s greeting. It is casually used by young people when they meet their friends in early January. When your friends say this greeting to you, simply repeat the same phrase to reply to them.
あけおめ is an abbreviation of “明けましておめでとうございます”, which consists of the two parts “明けまして” and “おめでとうございます“. The former is a polite te-form of the verb “明ける” meaning “be over”(*), and the latter means “congratulations”. Therefore, the phrase literally means “(The last year) is over, congratulations!”, although people recognize it’s meaning as “Happy New Year”. Since あけおめ is a casual way of saying あけましておめでとうございます, you should use the unabbreviated expression in a formal context.
(*) 明ける is used only in a few phrases, including “夜が明ける” meaning “night is over” and ”梅雨が明ける” meaning “rainy season is over”.
Happy New Year! Let’s keep a good relationship as ever.
Ex2 (A casual version of Ex1)
Ex2 (A more casual version of Ex1)
ことよろ stands for “今年もよろしく”, meaning “This year, let’s keep a good relationship as ever”. The word “よろしく”, or more politely “よろしくお願いします” are very common greetings in Japanese, which are used when one asks or requests someone to do something. In the example sentences above, the speaker asks the listener to keep a good relationship with him/her as ever.
Synonyms in English: Happy New Year
Related words and phrases: 明ける (be over) おめでとう (congratulations), よろしく