It's a standard phrase we say without a lot of conscious thought.
My opinion is that I feel 'I am here' and 'you are there', we are in two different places.
So a long version of what I'm saying is 'Hello to you who are there', ie 'Hi there'.
'Hi' is informal and friendly, but to me 'hi there' seems a little more informal and friendly.
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"There" is used as a brusque mode of address (often in commands) to a person or persons in the place or direction indicated. "You (that are) there". It is now also appended casually to exclamations of greeting, as "Hi (or Hello) there!", frequently with a purpose to attract attention or to express cordiality.
Nona The BritNo, I'm still there!Nona, do you mean your post? Nope..it isn't there, or at least I can't see it!
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