Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 10:30:49 +0200
From: David Sutcliffe
Subject: Re: Hello

My caveat would be that you may need to look beyond the Bowery for the
origins of hello. I haven't got time to check this at the moment (plane
to catch) but my impression is that hello/hallo/ halloa was in use in
England around mid-19th century, possibly earlier. Also when I was
looking at Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus stories, I found Harris
putting a "dialectal" form of hello in the mouth of the old African
American story teller who was meant to have been born around 1800.

Besides that caveat, I was wondering what the informal greetings were
that immediately predated hello - hail, well met? Howdy? or were English
speakers limited to good morning/afternoon/evening?

David Sutcliffe