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Origin of "Hi There"

Posted by ESC on April 14, 2003

In Reply to: Origin of "Hi There" posted by Eva Cameron on April 14, 2003

: So, can anyone help me on where "Hi There!" comes from and why it is that we say "there" along with this greeting?

: Amuzing to me, someone I said this to thinks I was being rude for calling them "there"--saying to me, "My name isn't 'there.'

: Thoughts?

From the archives:
"Hi" preceded "hello." The Oxford English Dictionary says "hi" is a "parallel form of HEY." The first recorded uses of these interjections in writing: "hi," the year 1475; "hey," 1225; "hello" (a variant of "hallo"), 1883.

HELLO, HOWDY, HI - ".or words to that effect, are used by most of us several times a day. 'How do you do?' (literally 'how is your health?'), 'good morning,' 'good afternoon,' and 'good evening' have been English greetings since the mid 15th century.Surprisingly enough, 'hello' didn't become a truly common greeting until the mid 1860s. It comes from 'holla!', stop! (French ho! + la, there); it had been used as a shout to attract attention, hail a coach, ferry, etc." Page 184. From I Hear America Talking, by Stuart Berg Flexner, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1976.