etymology of hellooooooooo!!!!!

well this is embarrassing :confused:that when I am on phone or visit to my cousin the first thing that i used to say is hello … is that the word hello really have a hidden meaning besides … >? is that its meaning ’ is any body there ’ ?
why this word so much propagate in the world? to initiate even gossips .
does any body really identify the meaning of hello not its origin as i already know it?

First of all, I think you are in the wrong forum.

As to your question, I remember reading somewhere that when the telephone was invented and became popular, there was a big question of etiquette as to how one should answer it. If memory serves, the word “hello” was pretty much invented (or at least, deliberately borrowed) for just that purpose. Sorry no cite, just a vague memory from a long-ago, bookish youth.

I’m moving this from the Chicago-related forum to the forum for General Questions.

Also, please see: and

On a slightly (un)related note, the way you worded it in the title (hellooooooo), began with Seinfeld.

Here’s what we know:

There’s also a popular story in Hungary that hello is a corruption of the Hungarian word hallom, meaning “I hear you.” The details of the story as I know it are related here"

I’ve always assumed this was just an urban legend, as the word “hello” in forms such as “hallo” and “hollo” exist back into the 16th century. I’ve never heard anyone with any linguistic credibility suggest the Hungarian origin is true, but I’m throwing it out there for you. ETA: Tivadar Puskas’s page on Wikipedia relates the same story, but with no citations to investigate the origin of this claim, other than the similarities between the two words.

I think we ought to resurrect Bell’s original suggestion, along with foghorns, seagulls and bouy bells for default ringtones.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories have Sherlock Holmes use the exclamation “halloa” every now and then. I have no idea how common that was in the Victorian era, however.

As a ringtone it’s not exactly the same, but one could easily set up “ahoy” as a mobile phone’s default ringtone.

Or perhaps a foghorn.

What I’ve heard is that before the telephone, the word had basically two usages: first was “HALLOO!” as in a ship captain trying to get the attention of some other ship far away. The other was as a mild oath, as in “Hello, what’s this?”

I can’t find it online now, but in one of Cecil’s paperback collections of the SD column, there was a short trivia quiz at the end (or the beginning, I don’t remember which), and one of the questions discussed this.

According to this, ahoy, hoy was gradually supplanted by hello which had not been in common use previously. Early phone equipment was not very good, and people often had to shout into the device to make themselves audible at the other end. Aside from the telephone, both expressions were typically used to address somebody presumably a considerable distance away. Think of expressions like ship ahoy! and hello, up there!. I think this is also why people shout hello! to hear an echo.

I also think that the sarcastic usage of hel-LO!! comes from this earlier usage of the word hello. Certainly it was used in Back To The Future, years before Seinfeld was a glint in the word processors of Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David.

from “holla” - ORIGIN early 16th cent. (as an order to stop or cease): from French holà, from ho ‘ho!’ + là ‘there.’