What’s So Funny?

Something new hams need to be aware of is a less-than-obvious bit of old-timey ham-speak still in use.

You may hear a ham say, “hi or “hihi” over the air or in person or in writing, and, curiously,  their particular use of the term, “hi” is not in context of a greeting.

In ham-speak the term “hi” means laughter.  Often doubled (hihi), it’s a ham’s way of expressing a humorous response.  So when a ham says, “hi” (s)he is laughing at something.  Kind of like saying LOL in a text message or web post.

Where did this come from?  In the early days of amateur radio, CW was the only mode so all communications were in Morse code. The word HI in Morse is dit-dit-dit-dit  dit-dit, (•••• ••)which sounds like an electronic chuckle.  Quickly adopted, hams have been using “hi” for laughter decades after voice and other modes were added to our radio amateur repertoire.

We’ll wrap up with a ham joke:  Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was excellent.  Hihi

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