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Showing posts from February, 2014

Goodbye

This everyday word has undergone several changes in its history. It began life in the late 1500s as god be with you (or ye), spelled variously as god be wy ye, god b'uy, and so on. The first part changed to good either on analogy with such other greetings as good day, good morning and good night, or as a euphemistic deformation to avoid the blasphemy of saying god (taboo avoidance) - or due to a combination of the two. The various independent words in god be with you were amalgamated into one, goodbye, and ultimately even this was shortened (clipped) to bye. (L. Campbell, historical linguistics.)