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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Howdy, folks!
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Howdy \How"dy\, n. [Scot., also houdy- wife. Of uncertain origin; cf. OSw. jordgumma; or perh. fr. E. how d'ye.] A midwife. [Prov. Eng.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1837, earlier how de (1828), first recorded in Southern U.S. dialect, contraction of how do you do (1630s), phrase inquiring after someone's health; earlier how do ye (1560s).


interj. An informal greeting. n. (context Scotland English) A wife, a midwife.


n. an expression of greeting; "every morning they exchanged polite hellos" [syn: hello, hullo, hi, how-do-you-do]


Howdy is an informal greeting, commonly thought to have originated as a shortened form of the greeting "How do you do?". It was first recorded as part of the South England dialect in 1680. Literature from that period includes the use of "How-do, how-do" and "How" as a greeting used by the Scottish when addressing Anglo settlers in greeting. The double form of the idiom is still found in parts of the American Southwest as "Howdy, howdy". Without regard to etymological beginnings, the word is used as a greeting such as "Hello" and not, normally, as an enquiry. As a result, it's not followed by a question mark. Punctuating "Howdy" commonly follows these rules: (i) If "Howdy" is used as a complete sentence, it's followed by an exclamation mark. (ii) If "Howdy" is the first word in a sentence, it's followed by a comma.

In the rural Southwestern United States, "Howdy" is a colloquial contraction of the formal greeting of "How do you do?", and as such is considered a formal and acceptable greeting for residents of that region of the world.

The word became recently popular in other areas of the world as it is the default greeting from the dashboard of WordPress, the most popular Content management system of the internet with over 15 million installs everywhere in the World (and an even bigger number of users seeing the greeting every time they log in to the dashboard). The probable reason for using "Howdy" (instead of "Welcome" or "Hello") in the dashboard is because Matt Mullenweg, one of the main developers of WordPress, was born and raised in Texas. Some developers have created Plugins to change the default behavior and use another greeting instead.

Howdy (disambiguation)

Howdy is an informal greeting commonly associated with Southern American English.

Howdy may also refer to:

Usage examples of "howdy".

It happened, however, that some unneighbourly person sent him notice of a clecking of tea chests, or brandy kegs, at which both Jenny and Betty Pawkie were the howdies.

He riz en wunk his eye en ax Brer Rabbit howdy, en mo' speshually how is his daughter.

Mont Blanc sez hi, lake sez howdy too, Slothrop buys 20 cigarettes and a local paper, asks directions, gets in a tram that comes and with cold air through doors and windows to wake him up goes rolling into the City of Peace.

In black and white, through the occasional fuzz and snow, we watched Captain Kangaroo, The Friendly Giant and the horrendous marionettes, Canadian Randy Dandy and American Howdy Doody.

The boys and girls madly pedaling their bicycles might have been hurrying home to eat their usual Saturday supper of fried chicken and okra before sitting down to watch Buffalo Bob and Howdy Doody on their fifteen-inch black-and-white televisions.

Most people shake me right off when they start getting splashed on about liking little boys, but Doggy, he didn't say we were friends or nothing, but he didn't give me no Miami howdy, neither, which is to say I didn't find myself floating in the Bermuda Triangle with my ass pulled down around my ankles, by which I mean he wasn't ashamed to be seen with me on the street, which don't sound like a six-minute orgasm to you but to me it was like a breeze in August, I didn't ask for it and I don't trust it to last but as long as it's there I'm going to like it.

George’s place, where the coloreds get their hair cut, and walked in and snatched up a razor and walked out without a howdy or a by-your-leave or a go-to-hell neither, and by the time we caught up to him, he’d done laid that old boy open like a hog, and was sitting on the porch waiting on the yaller woman to come home, so he could do the same for her.

He was wiry, suntanned, vigorous, open, all howdies and glad talk and even yelling hello to bums on the street and when asked a question answered right off the bat from the top or bottom of his mind I don't know which and always in a sprightly sparkling way.

We loafed along up the road, and now and then met a person and stopped and said howdy, and told them when we come, and how we left the folks at home, and how long we was going to stay, and all that, but none of them said a word about that thing.

Morris got hooked on magic at the age of five when he saw Buffalo Bob perform a trick on the Howdy Doody television show.