Dictionary.com

Of the many ways to say farewell — peace, so long, later skater, ciaogoodbye is the most common.

A form of good-bye has been spoken since the sixteenth century. It comes from godbwye, which is a contraction of “God be with ye.” The phrase was influenced by good day and good evening.

The abbreviated forms of good-bye are bye and bye-bye.

Bye-bye was originally a nursery phrase first used in the early 1700s to lull a child to sleep. One of its definitions is “baby talk.”

Bye has multiple meanings, some related to sports. In golf, the holes of a stipulated course that are still unplayed after a match is finished are a bye. In cricket, a bye is a run made on a ball not struck by the batsman.

Bye is also used in the idiom “by the bye,” which means “incidentally” or “by the way.”

Several Spanish terms of farewell are now commonly used in English. Adiós means “good-bye.” The word is a contraction of a, which means “to,” and Dios, which means “God.” Hasta luego means “see you later.” In the role of the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the current governor of California, popularized the expression hasta la vista, which means “so long” or “until we meet again.”

Unlike good-bye, the history of hello involves hunting dogs and a touch of danger. Learn the whole story, here.

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67 Comments

  1. 87958w3ym ru stryuzstryu zsryu -  February 2, 2014 - 8:28 pm

    no sense to me yeah i dont need no propa enlish

    Reply
  2. e567iiiiiei -  February 2, 2014 - 8:26 pm

    vhklfyikfofyi

    Reply
  3. Nick Furey -  December 28, 2013 - 9:10 am

    The word goodbye as a direct derivative from early English when Christian would bid farewell by saying “God bless ye”, however due to great persecution for using “God” they shifted it to “Good” and “bless ye” was condensed to “bye”. Like it was the first text message short form. Ever heard of a “God’s eye”? It is a cross woven with yarn to appear as a beautiful piece of wall art. If we only knew the persecution faced by early Christians, we would honor them by standing firm in our own faith and use this word Good bye with its true meaning. STAND – Strength To Achieve New Direction

    And thus my friends, God bless ye

    Reply
  4. Maya -  May 23, 2013 - 3:52 pm

    I was googling to find out very rude saying ‘good bye’ or ‘bye’, but couldn’t find it. Most of the sites were about how not to end conversation rudely. But, here, I found one comment:

    itstherecit on November 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I don’t know if any other people here said this (I only read about half of these comments) but the last times I have said “goodbye” to a person was when I was angry with them and wanted to terminate a conversation and contact. As said before in these comments “goodbye” is rarely used these days. Sad to say but I think the word “goodbye” has taken on some negative implications.

    ————————————————————————-
    My son told me ‘bye’ abruptly (short, brief) while were were talking about his study – I was not happy that he was playing game in the morning and knew that he has been missing classes at uni, but defended himself and was not happy about my confrontation. After I heard him saying ‘bye’ that rude way, I didn’t want to talk anymore.

    This is second time that I heard good bye or bye being used in this rude way.

    First one was in a nice department store. It happened to an old Japanese lady. I know it from her accent because I talked with her briefly. (her accent) She came up to the counter and asked whether that was on sale. That was not an sale item. Then, the woman at the counter said to her in a rather high tone and loud voice ‘ Godd Bye!’. And I saw her facial expression with a slight smile looking down on her nose.

    AT that time, my issue about this was more about racist attitude of the woman at the counter. But today, it is more about the language usage.

    I asked my son who just left for uni how often they use ‘bye’ this way. He answer was surprisingly ‘often’. It seems among the young people, this is how they express their frustration and finish off the conversation.

    But, the woman at the counter was at least in her middle 30′s.

    Is this New Zealand thing or not? I live in New Zealand.

    I wonder what country this person lives:
    itstherecit on November 3, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Is this common way of finishing off the conversation that you don’t like in a rude way? Or they don’t think it is not rude anymore?

    Reply
  5. Sheldon -  April 21, 2013 - 3:33 am

    Goodbye means “good passage” or “good way”

    “By the bye” means “by the way”

    Look at the other meanings. The ball went “by” or “past” the batsman in cricket. The golfer went “by” or “past” the holes he did not play.

    Bye has multiple meanings, some related to sports. In golf, the holes of a stipulated course that are still unplayed after a match is finished are a bye. In cricket, a bye is a run made on a ball not struck by the batsman.

    A “bye” in sports means to “advance” or “pass” a level when there is no opponent.

    So “goodbye” could mean “good passage without an opponent”

    It makes more sense than “God be with ye”, which it what everyone says it means.

    The simple interpretation of the word makes more sense than all of the dictionaries I have read.

    Sometimes everyone is wrong.

    Reply
  6. pooo -  August 29, 2012 - 1:13 am

    btw hasta la vista literally translates to “until the sight” but the meaning is a little closer when translated by words to until the horizon. Coincidentally I being a native born mexican have never heard it used by actual people from mexico who have never been to the us. Same with the word “cajones” which actually means drawers, like the ones you keep things in.

    Reply
  7. itstherecit -  November 3, 2011 - 1:54 pm

    I don’t know if any other people here said this (I only read about half of these comments) but the last times I have said “goodbye” to a person was when I was angry with them and wanted to terminate a conversation and contact. As said before in these comments “goodbye” is rarely used these days. Sad to say but I think the word “goodbye” has taken on some negative implications.

    Reply
  8. Joyce -  September 8, 2011 - 1:21 am

    My friends and I used to say Hasta la By-By…what do u make of that?

    Reply
  9. Ann -  August 23, 2011 - 10:23 am

    This is interesting because in parts of rural Ireland, people greet each other by saying “God be with ye” when entering a house, etc. This is a translation from the Gaelic “Dia dhiabh”, and so the complete opposite of the convention in the country’s second official language.This has persisted despite the spread of English into native Irish-speaking regions in the mid-19th century and shows how languages develop and mutate.

    Reply
  10. Grapefruit -  August 23, 2011 - 8:45 am

    Nevermind.

    Reply
  11. Grapefruit -  August 23, 2011 - 8:44 am

    Very interesting! Thank you for sharing!

    But I tried to click on the link to the the story of “hello” and it brought me here: http://hotword.dictionary.com/?p=1255 which does not explain it. Help?

    Reply
  12. Liviu -  August 23, 2011 - 5:43 am

    A very interesting article! It is fascinating to see the etymology of some words…:)

    Reply
  13. zeus -  August 22, 2011 - 4:27 am

    On the origin of words for god:

    Looking at greek mythology, we find Dione who is said to be equivalent of Gaia (Earth Mother). The roman Diana might have its roots there.
    Also, the modern greek name of Zeus is Dias. And the modern greek “theos” (theo-logy) sounds too much like it, too. Additionally (but not sure if related) “deos” also in greek meens “awe” (in particular the awe one has for the (powers of) gods).

    Reply
  14. Beth -  August 20, 2011 - 7:07 pm

    I don’t know why there’s so much hullabaloo over this. For those claiming the “good journey” phrase sounds more plausible, well perhaps, truth is stranger than fiction. Plausible, perhaps, but the experts have this one. Whether you like it or agree with it, you can’t change it.

    I study Old and Middle English, and the evolution of the English language is a hobby of mine. Many words came to be from abbreviations like this one–”howdy” comes from the archaic greeting “how do you do?”

    Our culture used to be far more religious, so many of our sayings and superstitions stem from that culture. And despite recent efforts to erase all traces of our heritage, it is what it is. You can’t change history just because you don’t agree with it.

    Reply
  15. daryl king -  August 19, 2011 - 1:26 pm

    a more interesting, and accurate point regarding the similarities for referring to God, is actually the polytheistic god(s)((lower case)):
    deity.

    Reply
  16. saziba -  August 19, 2011 - 5:09 am

    Interesting that God in Portuguese is “Deus”, in Spanish is “Dios”, “Dio” in italian, “Deum” in latin, “Dieu” in french. That’s why “Dio”, in Italian for instance, actually means “Two O’s” or “Double O” or “OO” wich resembles the simbol of infinite.

    Reply
  17. Kelsey -  August 18, 2011 - 6:52 pm

    Crystal Clear, I don’t understand what you’re saying, but please don’t use the word retard in that way. It’s disrespectful towards those born with mental handicaps and frankly it’s flat-out mean. I don’t blame you if you didn’t realize that, many people don’t, but now you know.

    Reply
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