Hello, Hello, Hello

27 de septiembre de 2016

Hello and welcome to the CIM’s (Centro de Idiomas Modernos, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) blog. What better way to start off the blog than with a “Hello”. “Hello” is a standard way to greet people, but it hasn’t always been used that way.

The Oxford English Dictionary says the first published use of “hello” goes back only to 1827. Then it was used to attract attention or show surprise. For example, if you were walking along the street and somebody tried to attack you, you may have screamed “Hello”. Imagine saying

“Hello” to your attacker nowadays! That would really cause confusion! It was Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb among other things, who was the first to encourage people to say “Hello” when answering the phone and that’s when it started to become a greeting.

Many of the words we use today had a different meaning in the 14 century. For example, “pretty” used to mean “cunning” in Old English and “naughty” to mean “evil”. But don’t despair, meanings don’t change overnight. They change very gradually over time. So, the words you have learned today will still be here and mean the same for a long time, fingers crossed!

So, “wilcumian” as they said in Old English, to the blog!

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Eva4 de noviembre de 2016 a las 20:33

How interesting!!!! So the word «hello» is somehow not so all. Amazing! I like to learn about the origin of words. I hope to be able to read more posts on the use of words and maybe how some words are different depending on British/American/Australian… English and why they are different.

Eva

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