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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||The word 'hi'|
|Question:||What is the origin the word 'hi'? Also, as a word, is it globally recognised?|
|Reply:||According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the greeting 'hi' goes back to 1475, when it was mainly a call for attention (now usually spelled as 'hey'). A greeting and a call for attention are very similar. We also use names in both functions. The greeting 'hi' probably developed from this in the USA, where a 'hi' meaning 'hello' is first attested in 1862. As far as I know, 'hi' is now used as an informal greeting all over the world, and you should find it in any English dictionary. I am British, living in Australia, have lived in Singapore, am married to someone from India, and have travelled widely. I use 'hi' myself and hear it all over. Of course it is globally used! I'm surprised anyone might think it's not. Anthea|
|Reply From:||Anthea Fraser Gupta click here to access email|