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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: 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.

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

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