One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
As part of a customary expression of good wishes on meeting or parting during the evening or (formerly) the afternoon. Originally in "God give you good even"; now chiefly in "to wish (also bid) (a person) (a) good even", and (as an address) "a good even to you".
Late 15th century; earliest use found in William Caxton (1415x24–1492), printer, merchant, and diplomat. From good + even, in sense A. 1 perhaps originally after Middle Dutch goeden avont.
good even/(ˌ)ɡʊd ˈiːvn/
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