‘Nice Talking to You’: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

By Sophia Merton, updated on March 3, 2023

Did someone tell you that it was ‘nice talking to you’ and you’re wondering what it means?

In this article, we’ll look at the definition, history, and examples of this phrase, along with some synonymous expressions. In short, though, ‘nice talking to you’ is a polite way to end a conversation and can also be used when you are reconnecting with someone you spoke to recently.

What Does 'Nice Talking to You' Mean?

‘Nice talking to you’ is a polite phrase you can use when you have been talking with a person and are leaving the conversation. The implication is that you’ve had a nice time conversing with the other person while also saying goodbye at the same time.

There are several variations of this phrase, including:

  • It’s been nice talking to you
  • It was nice talking to you
  • Nice talking with you
  • It’s been nice talking with you
  • It was nice talking with you
  • Great talking to you
  • Great talking with you

A similar structure is found in other polite ways to say goodbye, including:

  • It was nice to see you
  • Nice to see you
  • It was nice meeting you
  • Nice meeting you

If you run into someone you know and need a polite way to move on with your day, you could say:

  • it was nice to see you’ or ‘nice to see you’ as you’re leaving.

If you’re meeting someone for the first time and you are looking for a way to say goodbye, you can say:

  • ‘nice meeting you’ or ‘it was nice meeting you.’

‘Nice talking to you’ can also be used as a phrase when you are reconnecting with someone that you spoke with earlier. For example, let’s say that you ran into a friend at the grocery store, and you chatted for a while. At the end of the conversation, you told her that you would send her a recipe you told her about.

When you send her an email later on with the recipe attached, you might include a note that says something like “it was ‘nice talking to you’ earlier! Here’s that recipe I told you about; I hope you like it!”

Where Does 'Nice Talking to You' Come From?

The specific origin of ‘nice talking to you’ is difficult to trace, but we can gather some clues using the Google Books Ngram Viewer. Using this tool, we see that the phrase ‘nice talking to you’ doesn’t seem to appear in any publications between 1800 and 1905.

Usage starts to increase starting around the early 1930s and became increasingly popular until about 2012. Since then, it has become slightly less popular, at least in printed publications.

An example of the phrase being used during the mid-20th century appears in the Federal Communications Commission Reports from the first half of 1963:

“That is all, Paul. We better jump off here, old man. We’ll be talking to you later. Nice talking to you over there and I’ll talk to you again in the very near future.”

The phrase was quite clearly in common use in the late 1940s, as it is casually used in a Congressional Hearing from 1948:

“It was short. He said, ‘Thank you for your contribution’ – ‘It was nice talking to you on the phone. ‘Thank you for your contribution,’ and that is about all I recall of it. I imagine there was some more on it, but I don’t recall it.”

The following is an example of ‘nice talking to you’ being used as a way to refer to a previous and recent conversation. This is an excerpt from a 1966 letter between Norbert Bussman and Thomas Curtis.

“Dear Tom: It was nice talking to you this morning. I want to say again that we certainly appreciate your being in Washington for the sound thinking and constructive criticism and action you have brought to the Congress.”

Examples of 'Nice Talking to You' In Sentences

How would you use the phrase ‘nice talking to you’ in a sentence? Let’s look at some examples:

  • “I’m so busy nowadays I feel like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I’m happy we had a minute to chat, but I’ve got to run! It was so nice talking to you.”
  • “I have to run to work– I have a meeting with a co-worker that is the bane of my existence. It was nice talking to you– let’s catch up again soon!”
  • “Thanks so much for the invitation to your housewarming party– I’m excited to see your humble abode! I’ve got to bring my son to school now, but I’ll see you soon. Nice talking to you.”
  • “I’m so glad to hear that you and your family are doing well. Speaking of which, it’s time for me to start cooking dinner. Nice talking to you– I’ll call again next week.”
  • “It’s been very nice talking to you, Rachael. We have some more candidates to meet, and we’ll be making a decision by the end of next week.”
  • “Looks like my bus is on schedule for once! It was nice talking to you, and I hope you have a wonderful evening!”

Other Ways to Say 'Nice Talking to You'

What are some other words and phrases that have a similar meaning to 'nice talking to you'?

Here are some options:

  • Good talking to you
  • It’s been good talking to you
  • Nice chatting with you
  • It’s been nice chatting with you
  • I’m glad we got to catch up
  • It’s been a pleasure talking to you
  • Always nice to talk to you
  • It’s been a pleasure to catch up

Final Thoughts About ‘Nice Talking to You’

‘Nice talking to you’ is a polite way to let someone know that you appreciate the conversation you’ve been having, but it’s time for you to leave. This is a good transitional statement that you can use when it’s time for you to stop participating in the conversation, but you don’t want to be rude.

You can also use ‘nice talking to you’ when you are reconnecting with someone you spoke with earlier. For example, if you are following up with the owner of a company that you had an interview with, you might start the email by saying something along the lines of “it was so nice talking to you earlier.”

As with many phrases, you do have to be careful with your tone when using ‘nice talking to you.’ If you’ve had a difficult conversation or your tone sounds sarcastic or disingenuous, it could imply that you actually didn’t have a nice time talking to the person.

Are you ready to learn more idioms and phrases? Head over to our idioms blog for tons of expressions, idioms, proverbs, and more.

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Written By:
Sophia Merton
Sophia Merton is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Sophia received her BA from Vassar College. She is passionate about reading, writing, and the written word. Her goal is to help everyone, whether native English speaker or not, learn how to write and speak with perfect English.

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