Sometimes, sailors use it to get someone's attention, as in the sentence "Ahoy there!" They also use it to register a sighting of something: "Land ahoy!" The earliest recorded version of the word comes from 1751, but people may have used it years before it was first written down. Scholars believe that the greeting originally had a longer form: "Ho, the ship ahoy!" In some Central European countries, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany, people use "ahoy" (spelled "ahoj") as an informal greeting.