Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
||The word 'hi'
What is the origin the word 'hi'? Also, as a word, is it globally
The Online Etymological Dictionary
allowed_in_frame=0&search=hi&searchmode=none) gives a first
reference to the word in American English from 1862, which citation
is from the speech of a 'Kansas Indian'. They also suggest it is
probably ultimately from Middle English hy or hey, used to draw
attention. I use it all the time (as you can see), though I can't
attest to its geographical distribution (perhaps principally in the
U. S., but likely rather more extended). I believe I have also
heard it in Canada, but I can't swear to that.
James L. Fidelholtz
Graduate Program in Language Sciences
Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades
Benem'erita Universidad Aut'onoma de Puebla, M'EXICO
James L Fidelholtz
click here to access email
Re: The word 'hi'
Anthea Fraser Gupta
Back to Most Recent Questions