Welcome aboard or Welcome on board? Difference & Meaning + Examples

So, you might have heard both “welcome aboard” and “welcome on board” before in your life, and you’ve come to the right place if you want to learn the difference between the two. They’re actually not as dissimilar as you might think, though the usage of both depends more on the tone and context over everything else.

“Welcome Aboard” or “Welcome On Board” – Which Is More Correct?

“Welcome aboard” means that you or someone else is welcoming someone to a team or a project within a business. It is seen as the more informal option of the two. While “welcome on board” means that someone is being welcomed onto something (most commonly associated with a boat or plane) and is usually considered the more formal option.

We’ll take a closer look at the origins later, but it’s important to note that we mentioned the context for both. “Welcome aboard” is by far the more common saying of the two and is usually quite a good option to say informally, even in the case of a business. You could say “welcome aboard” to a new employee joining the team, for example.

Then there’s “welcome on board,” where you’re not quite as friendly or well-acquainted with the person as you were before. It’s a little more formal as “aboard” is seen as an informal abbreviation. It’s most common in boating or flying circles, where people are literally welcomed onto a “board” per se.

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5 Examples Of How To Use “Welcome Aboard.”

Now, let’s take a brief look at some examples for both “welcome aboard” and “welcome on board.” We’ll start with “Welcome aboard,” but we’re sure you’ll notice there are similarities between the two. It mostly boils down to context, and they are often interchangeable, though you’ll want to be careful using one over the other if you’re in the wrong setting for it.

  • Jake is now part of the team, and I want you all to make him feel welcomed. Welcome aboard, Jake.
  • Welcome, Jake; it’s good to have you aboard (here, you can split the saying into parts, starting with “welcome” and ending the sentence with “aboard).
  • Welcome aboard to all of the new sign-ups!
  • Welcome aboard, friends. We can’t wait to see what you’ve got planned for us.
  • We’ve got a new member of the group, welcome aboard!

5 Examples Of How To Use “Welcome On Board.”

“Welcome on board” is used in more formal scenarios, as well as to actually welcome someone physically “on board.” Let’s take a quick look at what that means.

  • This is your pilot speaking. Firstly, I’d like to say welcome on board!
  • Welcome on board to your new job, Mr. Smith.
  • Welcome on board the Caribbean Cruise!
  • We’ve loved having you here with us, Mrs. Parnett. Welcome on board.
  • Welcome on board. We really hope you enjoy your stay.

Origin Of “Welcome On Board”/”Welcome Aboard”

If it hasn’t already been made clear, the origin of the phrases stems from a similar place. “Welcome aboard” did come first, but now both sayings are used interchangeably and come from the same root. It all stems back to when boats were becoming more commercial and more people were allowed to ride on them to get from one country to another.

Since the actual name for the floor of a boat is a “deck,” it might seem confusing at first why “board” is used. Most people didn’t understand that boats had “decks” back then, and it was much easier to say “on board” instead. It made people feel welcomed by the crew and the captains when they came on, making it stick because people appreciated their service.

If that isn’t enough, remember that when you actually get on a boat, you’re boarding it. So once you’ve boarded the boat, it makes sense for someone to say “welcome on board.” Obviously, “welcome aboard” was used in much the same situation, though since boats aren’t nearly as fashionable as they were back then, it’s more common to see the two sayings used more in the working world than anywhere else.

Alternative Ways Of Welcoming New Employees On Email

Case and point, most employers, actually use the phrases in emails to welcome new employees. Most employers will either email the employee directly to say “welcome aboard,” or they’ll email the rest of the team and ask them to welcome the new person “on board.” Either way, it’s common in business emails, but let’s look at a few alternatives in case you fancied something else.

  • “Welcome to the team.”

This is a classic that you can use just as easily as the other two phrases. It’s amicable and makes the new employee feel appreciated straight away.

  • “It’s good to have you with us.”

Another great way to say “welcome aboard” is by letting them know that you’re thrilled that they’re a part of the team.

  • “We look forward to working with you.”

This one is more of a formal option but is still a great way to show your new employee that you mean well and that they are valued in the team.

Quiz – “Welcome Aboard” or “Welcome On Board”

Let’s finish up this article with a quick quiz so that you can tell “welcome aboard” and “welcome on board” apart from a little easier. Remember, most of it comes down to personal preference, though “welcome on board” is definitely more contextually dependent and reserved for more formal messages.

  1. Hey, Mr. Barkley. I thought I’d send you an email to say (A. Welcome aboard / B. Welcome on board).
  2. We can’t wait to see what you’ll bring to the team! (A. Welcome aboard / B. Welcome on board)
  3. This is your pilot speaking. It’s a pleasant day in Seattle, and I’d just like to say (A. Welcome aboard / B. Welcome on board)
  4. (A. Welcome aboard / B. Welcome on board) to our new colleagues!
  5. (A. Welcome aboard / B. Welcome on board) and don’t forget to try the cake. It’s fantastic.

Quiz Answers

  1. B
  2. A
  3. B
  4. B
  5. A