Of all the children of the internet, memes have to be one of the most exciting ones to come about.
They have become a form of communication onto themselves, and there are entire sites dedicated only to the production of memes.
Moreover, memes have actually impacted the English language, from creating new words such as “Pepega” and “Poggers” to nurturing different variants of the English language, including “Doggo Lingo” and “Cat Speak.”
For those of you confused, “Cat Speak” is similar to baby talk.
For instance, one famous sentence that gets repeated a lot in “Cat Speak” is “I can haz cheezburger?”
You’ll notice that the example given is both grammatically incorrect and contains egregious spelling mistakes according to traditional English.
Nevertheless, it is a popular way of speaking on the internet thanks to the power of memes.
In fact, today’s word “henlo” owes its existence to memes.
What does “henlo” mean?
“Henlo” is another way of saying hello. It is obviously slang, and people use it during chatting or texting online.
The word might seem strange to you, but it is quite popular on the internet, especially among gamers and memers.
In fact, before being used as a word, “henlo” first appeared in a meme which became popular, and after that, the word itself spread like wildfire.
Where does “henlo” come from?
So, not too long ago, there was this meme of a lizard that was reading an online conversation directed towards it.
The conversation was abusive, and the lizard was supposedly being cyberbullied by someone online.
This is the relevant part of the conversation.
helllo you STINKY LIZARD
go eat a fly ugly.”
(The username of the abuser was “1 rooting tooting mother****er.”)
Anyway, the meme became popular and spread on different social media platforms, among which were Facebook and Instagram.
Afterward, the internet did its thing. People online started replacing the lizard with other animals and publishing memes where the animal in question had to suffer online abuse that was geared specifically to it.
Yet, one constant throughout all the memes that were published was that the cyberbully always greeted the animal with a “henlo.”
How is “henlo” used today?
“Henlo” is considered today as a cute way of saying “hello,” something you can use with your close friends and online acquaintances.
Obviously, given how informal this word is, you should never use it in a professional setting.
Interestingly, people who use “henlo” will tend to speak with a “lisp.”
The above sentence means “hello my friend.”
Other words that tend to come with “henlo” often are “doggo” and “smol bean.”
Hey, I told you the internet changed the way we talked.
This is a text conversation between two close friends.
Interestingly, seeing as using words like “henlo” is reminiscent of talking in an infantile manner (actually, the whole idea of talking with a lisp is imitating baby talk), some people look with disdain at people who say “henlo” at the start of a conversation.
They argue that it is neither cute nor enjoyable to misspell words and to talk like a 2-year old. They feel that it just comes across as dumb.
An interesting side note
Even though “henlo” is a greeting used on the internet, if you add a single “w” at the end of that word, you get the name of a village in England.
“Henlow” is located in the Central Bedfordshire district situated in the county of Bedfordshire. 17 km away from “Henlow” lies the county town, “Bedford.”
According to some, “Henlow” gets its name from old English, where “henna hlaw” translated to “hill of birds.”
As of 2011, there were a little more than 2,000 individuals living in the village of “Henlow.”
Hey fellow Linguaholics! It’s me, Marcel. I am the proud owner of linguaholic.com. Languages have always been my passion and I have studied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics and Sinology at the University of Zurich. It is my utmost pleasure to share with all of you guys what I know about languages and linguistics in general.