Chamblee54

Hello

Posted in Library of Congress, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 7, 2016

37262x

37264x

37266x

37268x


When you answer the phone, many people say “hello”. (“How may I direct your call” is an obscenity.) There are many versions of how this custom started. The rumor that hello is a polite version of hell no is unsubstantiated.

NPR published a story on hello the other day. The term is an English version of a German word, and was first published in 1827. Wikipedia notes an 1833 story, “The Sketches and Eccentricities of Col. David Crockett, of West Tennessee”. At first, it was used as a mild oath, as in , “Hello, get out of my woodpile before I hurt you”.

In the late 19th century, the invention of the telephone changed things. Alexander Graham Bell recommended ahoy to answer the phone. Thomas Edison preferred hello. Early phone books had instructions on how to answer the phone, and they recommended saying hello. The greeting stuck.

At first, the suggested ending to a phone conversation was “That is all”. For some reason this did not catch on, with Good Bye, (and the wretched Bye Bye), becoming the preferred ending. Good Bye is a contraction of “G-d be with you”, and was considered, by some, to be inappropriate.

This repost has pictures from The Library of Congress.

37269x

37271x

37271xa

37272x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: