"Halloo" = "hello," as simple greeting

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Thu Aug 11 21:34:46 UTC 2005

OED doesn't adduce any recent "halloas," but it does have " 'allo, 'allo ! " from the '70s.  My guess is that the Dutch got "hallo" from English, but what do I know ? It could be a parallel development, I suppose.

The deep question is why it took English 1200 years to evolve "Hello ! "


Wilson Gray <wilson.gray at RCN.COM> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Wilson Gray
Subject: Re: "Halloo" = "hello," as simple greeting

Are you certain about that, Jon? I ask because there is a West-Germanic
language currently spoken and closely related to English, called
"neerlands" by its speakers, in which "hallo" precisely is, at this
very day, as you yourself have put it, "a cry for attention,"
approximating in its meaning the American English "hey, you!" or the
English English "I say, my man! You there! What?!"

Just messin' witcha, man. I know bedn at.

But, seriously, is "halloa" still a valid alternative spelling? Not
that it matters. Just idly wondering.


On Aug 10, 2005, at 10:43 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society
> Poster: Jonathan Lighter
> Subject: "Halloo" = "hello," as simple greeting
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> There's no doubt here that "halloo" (predecessor of "hello") was
> already established as a simple greeting, as distinguished from a cry
> for attention or an indicator of surprise :
> 1833 _Proceedings_ (Old Bailey) (May 16) 470 [
> http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/facsimiles/1830s/183305160016.html ]
> _Q._ In what way had he come into the shop? _A._ When he came in he
> said, "Halloo Harry," in a friendly way, holding out his hand - I
> said, "Halloo George, who should have thought of seeing you here."
> Much earlier, but nearly as unambiguous are the following. Note that
> in 1786 ex., the appropriate response is also "Halloo.":
> 1765 _Proceedings_ (Old Bailey) (Feb. 27) 90 [
> http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/facsimiles/1760s/176502270011.html ] I
> heard a foot coming along pretty briskly from out of the fields: when
> he came opposite me, I pushed out; I had my lanthorn under my coat; I
> opened my coat and drew it out: I said, halloo, my friend, what have
> you got here?
> 1766 _Proceedings_ (Old Bailey) (Feb. 19) 125[
> http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/facsimiles/1760s/176602190035.html ] I
> was a long time before I got out of the ditch: there came a lad that
> had been robbed; he said, halloo; I said, halloo, who are you. I have
> been robbed said he. I said, so have I.
> 1767 _Proceedings_ (Old Bailey) (Sept. 9) 311 [
> http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/facsimiles/1760s/176709090055.html ]
> I knocked at an alehouse door, to see if I could get a dram; this was
> on the 9th of August, past one at night, I could not get in; the
> prisoner stopped me, and said halloo, where are you going; I said, I
> am going home; she said if I would go backwards, she could get some
> liquor.
> 1784 _Proceedings_ (Old Bailey) (Sept. 15) 1195 [
> http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/facsimiles/1780s/178409150147.html ] I
> have seen Pearman before, but I did not know Nash, and then Thomas
> Defee came up, and said halloo, he said, he knew them.
> 1786 _Proceedings_ (Old Bailey) (Feb. 22) 406 [
> http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/facsimiles/1780s/178602220110.html And
> he says to me, halloo, hostler; I said, halloo, Atkins and Shallard.
> JL
> __________________________________________________
> Do You Yahoo!?
> Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
> http://mail.yahoo.com

 Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page

More information about the Ads-l mailing list