Have you ever thought about where the word “hello” comes from and what it actually means?
Well, fear not friends… cause I thought about this exact thing this morning in the shower and, after a bit of research, learned that greeting someone – in any language – is one of the most beautifully kind, human things we can do.
You see, the widespread belief is that the ultimate origin of “hello” stems from an Old English verb – hǽlan – meaning to heal, cure, save, greet or salute BUT it could also come from an Old English saying – hál béo þu – meaning “Hale be thou”, or “whole be thou”… a wish for good health.
Either way, you’re not just greeting someone when you say “hello”; you’re wishing them the best in health.
This got me thinking… what might that look like in other languages? I picked a random six, and this is where it really hit me in the feels.
In Arabic, you would say Ahlan, which means “you are like family”. In Hawaiian, you would say Aloha, which means “the presence of breath”, New Zealand, you would say, Kia Ora, which means “wishing you good health”, in Hindi, you would say Namaste, which means “my soul recognises yours”, in Latin you would say Salve, which means “be well” and in Zulu, you would Sawubona, which means “I see you”.
They say a simple “hello” can lead to a million things, but what I learnt is that it also starts with one thing… the very best of things… best wishes for another person.
Oh, and a “goodbye” is just as special… it’s an abbreviation of “God be with ye”.
Isn’t that just so beautiful?
So, hello you incredible person. Happy today.