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The reply to Sholom Aleichem is Aleichem Sholom.

One reply to Yeyasher Kochacho is Kochacho Yeyasher.

Why then have I not heard the reply to Mazel Tov to be Tov Mazel?

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I've never heard the reply you mention to Y"K. I've only ever heard Baruch Tihyeh and occasional non sequiturs. –  Seth J Apr 12 '13 at 13:34
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for the same reason we don't respond to "shabbat shalom" with "shalom shabbat." It doesn't make linguistic sense. 'Peace unto you' can be answered with 'unto you, peace.' 'It shall be straightened, your strength' can be answered with 'your strength shall be straightened' but [I know this isn't a proper translation] "Good luck" can't be reversed to "Luck good". There is no mention of a subject of the sentence or an object of a verb (or a verb for that matter) to reverse. –  Danno Apr 12 '13 at 13:37
    
I misread the first time. I think. Did you change it? –  Seth J Apr 12 '13 at 14:06
    
@SethJ Pischei Teshuvos quotes one source who does not like Kohanim responding Baruch Tihyeh to Y"K after blessing the people in case they are adding to the blessing. He recommends K"Y. No, I didn't change it. –  Avrohom Yitzchok Apr 12 '13 at 15:39
    
This question appears to be off-topic because it is a riddle question where the OP asked it in order to post an answer. It's also (to an extent) about Hebrew language rather than Judaism. –  Daniel Aug 5 '13 at 19:10
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1 Answer

I heard an explanation.

Aleichem Sholom is not grammatical.

But we overlook the lack of grammar in order to start with Sholom and end with Sholom.

We could say the same for Yeyasher Kochacho and Kochacho Yeyasher. We want to start with Yashrus (being straight and honest) and end with Yashrus.

But we do not want to start with “mazel” in its meaning as “astrological sign” and end with it.

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