If someone"s birthday was yesterday and you forgot about it, how would you greet them today? Happy Belated Birthday, orBelated Happy Birthday? I want to know how it is done in AE, BE, in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, etc. Thanks a lot.

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Do you know, I said "happy belated birthday" to a cousin a month or so back and had this exact thought. Strangely enough, "happy belated birthday" receives a vastly larger number of Google results (over 2,200,000) than the more logically correct "belated happy birthday" (330,000). I"m going to buck the trend and be logically correct from now on!
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I suppose the reason for the popularity of Happy Belated Birthday (if only in Googleland) is the fact that we"re just not used to putting the Happy bit anywhere else but the beginning
of such exclamations:Happy 50th BirthdayHappy HanukkahMerry Christmas and a Happy New Year. So the brain"s just starting with the bit that usually comes first.Also, I can"t think of many other good uses for the word belated:They sent me belated birthday greetingsI arrived belated for my appointmentThe train was belatedblah blah blah.
As has been said, in AE it is very usual to say "Happy Belated Birthday". When I first heard it, I explained it to myself by saying that today is no longer the birthday, but I want to celebrate the birthday anyway, so I name this day "Belated Birthday" and wish the person a happy "today", Happy Belated Birthday. Not sure if that makes sense outside my tortured imaginings, however.

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Do you know, I said "happy belated birthday" to a cousin a month or so back and had this exact thought. Strangely enough, "happy belated birthday" receives a vastly larger number of Google results (over 2,200,000) than the more logically correct "belated happy birthday" (330,000). I"m going to buck the trend and be logically correct from now on!
OMG, it"s true. I just did a Google search and I got similar results. Actually, it never occured to me until I read your response. If there is one good thing about it, it"s that you guys still know what is correct. And I"m glad that you do. At least you even acknowledge that Happy Belated Birthday is wrong. In your case cycloneviv, you even made a resolution and that"s great. Thanks anyway for all your replies.
I think the Greeting Card industry has a lot to answer for.I expect the sign in the shop says "Belated Birthday".The cards probably say "Belated Birthday Greetings".One small step from that to "Happy Belated Birthday".