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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Subject: The word 'hi'
Question: What is the origin the word 'hi'? Also, as a word, is it globally

Reply: Hi, James,

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
Reply From: James L Fidelholtz      click here to access email
Date: 13-Dec-2012
Other Replies:
  1. Re: The word 'hi'    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (16-Dec-2012)

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