Tale of Hello!

What is the first word that you use after calling someone else or picking up a call?

If it’s ‘hello‘, then this is for you.

Ever wondered why whenever we call someone, our first instinct is to say ‘hello‘. Where did it came from? How did it originate? Is it a tradition or an accurate prophecy? Is it factual or it just crept as a fantasy into the real world? Well, the word hello is considered as an alteration of the german word “hallo“, which means ‘to fetch’. It somehow also finds its roots in the french word “hola“, which roughly means ‘Anybody there ?’. Although, this was all about the origin, the word ‘hello’ has a deeper insight.

There is a popular rumour, that the word “Hello” was first used by the man who himself discovered telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. It is believed that he used this word in the context to greet his beloved, whose surname was “Hello” when he made the first call after the discovery to his beloved. However, this is a complete misconception twisted by knaves over time. The reality has it that Alexander Graham Bell made his first call to his personal assistant who was sitting in the very next room and he addressed “Come here !! I want to see you.”

In fact Bell’s girlfriend’s name was Mabel Hubbard whom he married in his later years. Thus, the rumour of the word ‘hello’ is a popular hoax. Sir Thomas Edison is responsible for the birth of the word “Hello“. Alexander Graham Bell used the word ‘Ahoy‘ which is a common exclamation to call or greet someone from a distance which was often used in those times for seeing off people on deck of the ship on voyage. This ‘Ahoy‘ was missheard by Edison as ‘Hello‘, marking the birth of a word which was going to be used much longer than anyone could have imagined. Edison wrote to David, the president of the Central District and Printing Telegraph Company of Pittsburgh in 1877-

“Friend David, I do not think we shall need a call bell as ‘Hello!’ can be heard 10 to 20 feet away.”

which provided the much needed proof for the same. Who knew that a historical missheard, would ultimately result in a folklore lasting for centuries after the mistake was committed! So folks, say hello!

Graphic Credit : Abhishek Srivastav


2 Replies to “Tale of Hello!”

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