1580s as a command to get attention, in which use it belongs in the group with hello, hallo. From 1520s as a command to "stop, cease," from French holà (15c.), which "Century Dictionary" analyzes as ho! + la "there." As an urban slang form of holler (v.) "greet, shout out to," it was in use by 2003.
updated on August 06, 2015