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Ahoy, uh, Hello!
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Ahoy, uh, Hello!

Categories: NEC

Although now known worldwide, the word hello is formerly an Americanism which only became popular around 1883, after the invention, and beginning of widespread use, of the telephone.  "Hello" won out over Alexander Graham Bell's suggestion, ahoy, as the standardized answer to a telephone call.

The word is an altered form of the word hallo, itself an alteration of holla, hollo, a shout to attract attention, first recorded around 1580, meaning "stop, cease."  The Oxford English Dictionary cites Old High German hala, hola, emphatic imperative of halon, holon, which mean "to fetch," "used [especially] in hailing a ferryman."


"If you can't say something nice, let's hear it!"   — Joan Rivers

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