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August 14, 2013
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In the Sixties there was a particular album by Jim Neighbors of TV fame. He played a 'hilly-billy idiot' named Gomer Pyle in the Marine Corps in a TV series called, strangely enough, 'Gomer Pyle, USMC'. Jim had a set of pipes that would be the envy of many a Broadway star and had many very good album releases of serious music, but he did this one album as Gomer, goofy accent and all. The single from the LP was 'You Cain't Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd', if that sets the feel of the whole thing for you! One of the more rollicking and rousing numbers was 'Gomer Sez HEY!'. Now I'm not sure if it's just me, but I think anything that could be associated with Gomer Pyle should be immediately classified as non-professional and should be avoided at all costs! Unless, of course, your boss is a hilly-billy.... And I would consider it a bit of a slight to be addressed that way if you're not one. *Ya'll kin say 'hey' t'me all ya'll want. Downright neighborly soundin' 'round these parts! Ah'm proud t'be a' Appalachian American!
I'm new to this site and I've been having a blast reading all the old threads -- and while this debate is most likely well over now, I will fling one final thought. I was told that Xmas was used by people who were not Christians and resented the use of His name in a holiday-- when they didn't simply write Happy Holidays, they would cross out the Christ and leave the rest of the word as a sign of their disapproval. I believe it caught on in the States because we are lazy -see also 'LOL', 'OMG', 'AYFKM?' -- more so than the religious rebellion implied. If we can do something shorter and quicker, betcha' we're goin' do it!
This has been a fun thread... My comment is-- as an American, I think we will see the use of legos continue in the States. Whadda'hell -- we do whatever we want anyway. It is very common to hear a mother say,' Put your legos away, dear, it's time for supper." Proper or not, it is firmly in the language now and I don't see it going away any time soon. It will be another of those things that writers can use to 'place' a story- like 'bloody' will set a tale in England. And we have plenty of examples of brand names going astray-- we zerox papers, use saran wrap, apply a band-aid... LEGO is just another word for us to mangle and misuse with blithe indifference. The rest of the world may have to accept the fact we are this way. American English was never about rules anyway....
True-- but I doubt if this is germane to the basic question of /hey/ as a greetings. The Canadians have been using a form of hey to end a statement for many years~"Welcome to the The Great White North, 'ay?" but that's not the concern of this query. We've established there are many paths and usages for the word... I want to know if the Amerindian had a hand in its use as a greeting. Although your comment leads to another and just as interesting question as to how that usage got started as well! Hey, we'll just have to check that out, too, hey?
I found this thread while looking for the origins of the term 'hey' -- I was studying Native American culture, mainly Navajo, and found that the term for greeting someone is (phonetically) ah'tee'hay. I was wondering if the term was shorten slightly to our hey -and used as a greeting. The Southern areas could have been exposed to this influence due to the tragic exportation of the Tribes in the late 1880's-- many were taken to Florida, the Carolinas, and other parts south. Any thoughts on this suggestion?
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