greeting salutation, originally a dialectal contraction of a phrase inquiring after someone's health, by 1720 as howdy'ee; c. 1600 as how dee, originally in servants' lines in old plays; a contraction of how do ye? (1560s), Huet dest þou? (mid-14c.). The form how dee do is attested from 1680s.
updated on December 12, 2020