In 'The Kiss Hello' (Season 6, Episode 17), Kramer institutes a policy where the apartment building neighbors start saying hi to one another. Which Jerry hates. Mary, a particularly friendly neighbor, kisses Jerry hello each time.

Jerry decides he will withdraw from this social contract, upsetting the building. When Jerry sees that his ways have undone him (they all shun him, the building super doesn't fix Jerry's issues, etc.), he tries to come back to the greeting ritual, but they still shun him.

In the final attempt, he is seen coming to Mary, the kisser, and saying, "Mary, sweet Mary, give us a kiss!"

(here is a clip of the episode but I could not find this scene with the line)

My question is, What is the reference, if any, of the way he phrases the request? It seems like it would be It's a Wonderful Life but I couldn't find a hit there.

1 Answer 1


Use of "us" instead of "me" is colloquial British (and Australian?). Googling suggests that it might be more frequent in the North East of England and that some posit a relationship with the Royal "we' instead of "I". It is also used in a mocking fashion, such as, "Oh, quit your whining. Come over here and give us a kiss."

Here you can see John Lennon use the phrase:

And here is a clip of the phrase used in a James Bond film:


And Chief Brody, in the movie Jaws:

It's interesting to note that Good Will Hunting, which came out 3 years after Season 6 of Seinfeld, has a particularly crude joke in it with both "Mary" and "Give us a kiss" in it.


So, in summary, I'd say it lies somewhere between trying to sound "upscale" with "proper English", while also mocking the greeting.

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