You don’t need a lot of words to wish someone a happy birthday. The point is to let the special person know you’re thinking about them on their big day. You can do that with a brief birthday card message, a text, a social media post, or even by speaking to them face-to-face (what a novel idea!).
In fact, the words “happy birthday” are all you really need. But then, that might be a little too brief – not to mention generic. To help you come up with a message that’s meaningful without being verbose, here’s a list of short birthday wishes for all the important people in your life.
Note: If you’re looking for a short message for a birthday cake, we have a separate list for that.
Here are some short and simple birthday messages that work for just about anyone.
- Congratulations on another year well lived.
- Best wishes on your birthday – may you have many, many more.
- Wishing you the happiest of birthdays.
- Best wishes for a fantastic person on [his/her] birthday.
- Happy Birthday! Today is a good day to spend some time with family, and some money on yourself.
- I hope you treat yourself to something special on your birthday – you deserve it!
- Happy Birthday to one of my favorite people on the planet.
- Getting older sucks, but you make it look easy.
- You make life more fun for everyone you meet. Thanks for being you.
- You do so much for others, I hope you find time to do something for yourself on your birthday.
Putting a smile on someone’s face is one of the best things you can do for them on their birthday. Here are some short and funny birthday wishes you can use.
- Your birthday’s here! Another year! Have good cheer! Grab a beer!
- I hope everyone remembers your birthday, but forgets how old you are.
- Congratulations on another year on Earth.
- There’s something in the air today… I think it’s an old fart.
- I’d tell you to spoil yourself today, but you’re already pretty rotten!
- Have a great birthday, and remember to never act your age.
- Older, wiser, AND sexier? You’re doing something right, [girl/boy].
- You’re going to need a bigger cake for all those candles!
- Cheer up. Turning a year older is better than the alternative.
- Remember, you can get away with anything when it’s your birthday.
A few nice words can really make someone’s (birth)day. Here are some short and sweet messages for someone who means a lot to you. For many more sweet birthday wishes, see these “Happy Birthday, Beautiful” messages.
- If you get even half the birthday presents you deserve, I’ll come save you. Because you’ll be drowning in them.
- Here’s hoping you have a birthday that’s as special and wonderful as you are.
- I’m so grateful you were born on this day [age] years ago. It’s like a holiday for me!
- There’s not enough room on the planet for all the birthday presents you deserve.
- Happy Birthday to someone who just gets better and better with age.
For Best Friend
A best friend deserves a unique birthday wish, such as one of the following. For lots more options, see this list of birthday wishes for a best friend.
- I’m celebrating today. It’s the anniversary of my favorite person being born.
- Happy Birthday to someone who’s absolutely, positively indispensable to me.
- If being awesome were a crime, you’d be on the top of the Most Wanted list. Happy Birthday!
- Wishing my BFF an FFB (Effing Fantastic Birthday).
- Happy Birthday to one of the awesomest people who ever lived.
Here are some short birthday wishes for a boyfriend.
- Hope you have an awesome day! The best boyfriend ever deserves the best birthday ever!
- Sending you birthday wishes, hugs, and kisses.
- Happy Birthday to the man I love. You deserve everything life has to offer.
- Lots of love to my birthday beau.
- Thanks for being born [age] years ago and growing up to be so damn foxy.
Here are some quick messages for a special lady on her birthday.
- I’m celebrating you today, because you mean so much to me.
- Happy Birthday! I can’t wait to give you your “pinch to grow an inch” in private.
- Happy Birthday to someone who makes every day of my life special.
- One day isn’t enough to celebrate someone as special as you.
- Happy Birthday, baby. I’ll be thinking about you all day today… just like every other day.
Your mom will undoubtedly be touched that you even remembered her birthday. Here are some ideas on what to say. For more ideas – a bunch more – see this list of birthday wishes for Mom.
- Happy Birthday to the best mom a kid could ask for!
- Hope you get some time to relax on your birthday – you’ve earned it after years of taking care of me.
- Happy Birthday to someone who always made my childhood birthdays special.
Need to come up with a short saying for Dad on his big day? Here are some ideas. For a full list of birthday wishes for Pop, check out this article.
- Happy Birthday to one hell of a dad.
- Dad, thanks for being born. I wouldn’t be here without you.
- Dad, I didn’t always appreciate you when I was growing up, but I sure do now. Have a good one.
Here are some short messages for a brother on his birthday. You can find more options in this article.
- You smell like a monkey, and you look like one too. Happy Birthday, bro!
- You’re good at this brother thing. I’m so glad you were born [age] years ago.
- Growing up with you was never boring, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And here are some short sayings for a birthday sister. For more ideas, see our full list of birthday wishes for Sis.
- You’re my sister and my friend, and you’re equally amazing at both. Happy Birthday, Sis!
- I wouldn’t have said this when we were kids, but I’m really glad you were born.
- My life would be about 99% less awesome without you – thanks and Happy Birthday!
Finally, here are some brief sayings to wish a cousin a happy birthday.
- Happy Birthday to a cousin who’s been like a [brother/sister] to me.
- Birthday hugz for my cuz.
- Hope you get birthday presents by the dozen, my cousin.