O.E. hire, third pers. sing. fem. gen. form of heo "she."
c.1154, probably evolved from O.E. seo, sio (acc. sie), fem. of demonstrative pronoun se "the." The O.E. word for "she" was heo, hio, however by 13c. the pronunciation of this had converged by phonetic evolution with he "he," so the fem. demonstrative pronoun probably was used in its place (cf. similar
development in Du. zij, Ger. sie, Gk. he, etc.). The original h- survives in her. A relic of the O.E. pronoun is in Manchester-area dial. oo "she." She-devil "difficult woman" first recorded 1840.