WHY do we say “hello” when answering the phone?

In Japan, phone callers are greeted with the phrase “mighty-mighty,” and in China, when picking up the phone, people say “wei”. Russians, like most of the world, say “hello”. But why exactly “hello”?

The first version insists that the word has Norman roots. When William the Conqueror invaded England, he heard local shepherds shouting “Hallo!” as they gathered their sheep. From this word the verb halloer, “to shout,” was later formed.

According to another theory, the word “hallo” was formed from hallow, which English sailors used to say when meeting ships.

A third option suggests the Hungarian origin of the telephone greeting. In that language there is the word hallom, which translates as “I hear you.” The word became popular thanks to Tivadar Puskás, the man who founded the first telephone news service. It was the word he used at the beginning of the broadcast.

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