by BD Mitchell
One hundred facts that are interesting but ultimately useless.
"Hello" & "Goodbye"
- etymology -
The word "hello" is thought to derive from an Old Saxon/High German word "halon" ("to fetch" or "to hail"), which itself may come from the Old French word "holà" (roughly "whoa there").
The widespread use of "hello" to answer a telephone is occasionally attributed to the device's inventor, Alexander Graham Bell; a popular story recounts how one of the first ever phonecalls was made to the inventor's girlfriend, Margaret Hello. However, since Graham Bell was engaged to a Mabel Hubbard at the time, this is little more than a myth. The actual association of telephones and hello is credited to Thomas Edison.
"Goodbye" is simply a contraction of a variation on the phrase "God be with you".