What is the meaning of hello and why do people start a conversation on phone with hello?

Poster: STANCOBRIDGE | Date: 10:32pm, 11th Feb 2018. | Views: 124 | 1 Replies
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STANCOBRIDGE. Jalingo, Taraba
10:32pm, 11th Feb 2018.

According to the Oxford Dictionary,hello is an alteration of hallo, hollo,which came from Old High German "halâ, holâ, emphatic imperative of halôn, holôn to fetch, used especially in hailing a ferryman.It also connects the development of hello to the influence of an earlier form, holla, whose origin is in the French holà (roughly, 'whoa there!', from French là 'there'). As in addition to hello, halloo.

hallo, hollo, hulloand (rarely) hillo also exist as variants or related words, the word can be spelt using any of all five vowels.


The use of hello as a teleephone greeting has been credited to Thomas Edison; according to one source, he expressed his surprise with a misheard Hullo.Alexander Graham Bell initially used Ahoy (as used on ships) as a telephone greeting.

Hello may be derived from hullo, which the American dictionary describes as a "chiefly British variant of hello,"and which was originally used as an exclamation to call attention, an expression of surprise, or a greeting.

Ganesh Subramaniam

studied at Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

There may be several legends crediting different people with the origin of HELLO!Here's a summary of an article in NEW YORK TIMES dated 5th March, 1992 - Great 'Hello' Mystery Is Solved

ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL invented the telephone. But Thomas Alva Edison coined the greeting.  

The word "hello," it appears, came straight from the fertile brain of the wizard of Menlo Park, N.J., who concocted the sonorous syllables to resolve one of the first crises of techno-etiquette: What do you say to start a telephone conversation? 

Two contemporaries of Edison credited him with the word, but too vaguely for Allen Koenigsberg, a classics professor at Brooklyn College who has a passion for early phonographs and their history. Resolved to sort out the "hello" mystery, Mr. Koenigsberg embarked on a tortuous search five years ago that led him, finally and triumphantly, to the American Telephone and Telegraph Company Archives in lower Manhattan, where he found an unpublished letter by Edison. Dated Aug. 15, 1877, it is addressed to one T.B.A. David, president of the Central District and Printing Telegraph Company in Pittsburgh. Mr. David was preparing to introduce the telephone to that city. 

At the time, Edison envisioned the telephone as a business device only, with a permanently open line to parties at either end. This setup raised a problem: How would anyone know that the other party wanted to speak? Edison addressed the issue as follows: "Friend David, I don't think we shall need a call bell as Hello! can be heard 10 to 20 feet away. What do you think?"  

It was a word of destiny. Over at the laboratories of Edison's rival, Bell was insisting on "Ahoy!" as the correct way to answer the telephone. It was trounced by "hello," which became the standard as the first telephone exchanges, equipped by Edison, were set up across the United States and operating manuals adopted the word. The first public exchange, opened in New Haven on Jan. 28, 1878, wavered between "hello" and the fusty "What is wanted?" in its manual. By 1880, "hello" had won out. 

Utkarsh Lal

up for discussion.

The word 'Hello' is basically a greeting. Studies find that people respond better to ideas from basically anyone when they have a positive attitude in the conversation, and a simple 'hello' can help improve anyone's day in the tiniest of ways.

As for your question, it is basically the same thing.
Not just on the phone, but speaking anywhere and opening conversation with a 'hello' is now a general custom (which is a good thing) and an almost reflexive action (which is even better).

Thanks for the A2A.

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