The use of “hey” in place of “hello”

The use of “hey” in place of “hello” I never paid this much attention until my dad mentioned today that it’s never sounded right to him when people say “hey” instead of “hi” or “hello”. I’ve been using it this way for at least 20 years, but I looked it up in various dictionaries and haven’t yet found a definition consistent with this usage. Most references just define it as “an interjection used to call attention” or something similar and leave it at that. Any thoughts or references that might shed some light? Posted by andrew3 Filed in Etymology / History 97 comments Comments Sort by Oldest Latest Rating ***Traditionally, hey was just an exclamation. Sometimes it expressed delight, sometimes a warning. Nowadays we find it used for emphasis as well, especially in the expression but hey. It is also a greeting. It is a short, colloquial version of How are you? and thus close kin to the informal salutation hi, which it seems to be replacing in many situations. Until recently, this greeting had a distinctly Southern flavor. The national survey conducted in the 1960s by the Dictionary of American Regional English found hey as a greeting restricted chiefly to Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. The friendly hey has since spread throughout the United States.*** So, 1) Yet another salutation formed from what was originally a warning.2) Yet another Southernism shared by all. Hey, I like that! 🙂 This reminds me of the parental admonishment “Hey is for horses!” Which is usually used when a child says “hey” to get their parent’s attention. as Zac said. in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and a few other languages, “hej” means “hello,” although the “j” is pronounced as a “y” of course. Kristina MurrayKristina Murray extensive work experience that varies from programming to PR, I have come to learn that my passion is in digital transformations, digital business development and digital strategy. The analysis of data to improve an online position for any company is what drives me. – Digital Business Development / Strategy – Social networking strategy. – Digital advertising – E-Comercio

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