I Just Learned Why We Use The Word ‘Goodbye’ And I’m In Shock

<span class="copyright">Frazao Studio Latino via Getty Images</span>
Frazao Studio Latino via Getty Images

There are so many ways that we say goodbye throughout our lives.

We say can goodbye to a dying loved one, to somebody we never want to speak to again and even to years of our lives when the clock turns midnight on January 1st.

There is always something very intentional about goodbye as opposed to a simple “bye” or “see you later”. It has an air of finality and formality.

It’s a word cloaked in emotion, no matter when it’s used, and yet, we still use it without consideration as to where it originated when, in fact, where it originated from is even more cloaked in mystery and wonder.

Where the word goodbye came from 

So, to discover where the word came from, we need to go right back to the 1500′s, when ‘goodbwye’ appeared in print for the first time, in a letter from English scholar Gabriel Harvey

According to Dictionary.com: “The practice of saying goodbye goes back centuries, with first evidence of the interjection found around 1565–75. It’s a contraction of the phrase ‘God be with ye.’

“In those days, people didn’t have the means of communication we do today, and they often didn’t know when or if they would see that person again when they parted. So they issued a sincere send-off, asking God to be with them until they met again.”

This was why it was then spelled goodbwye.

Mental Floss reported that the evolution of goodbwye to goodbye wasn’t a clear one and for a long time, people basically spelled it however they fancied. Even Shakespeare himself went between the two spellings.

Why not, eh!

Interestingly, in n other languages’ versions of goodbye, however, the religious connection is still very much present. Both the French adieu and the Spanish adios literally translate to “to God.”

Humans are a sappy bunch, really.