Servus

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This article is about the central/eastern European salutation. For the Austrian TV channel, see Servus TV.

Servus (Slovak: Servus, Croatian: Serbus or Servus, Hungarian: Szervusz, Polish: Serwus, Austro-Bavarian: Servus, Romanian: Servus, Slovene: Serbus or Servus, Czech: Servus, Ukrainian: Сервус) is a salutation used in many parts of Central and Eastern Europe. It is a word of greeting or parting like the Italian "Ciao".

These words originate from the Latin word for servant or slave, servus. The phrase is an ellipsis of a Latin expression meaning, "I am your servant" or "at your service". Servus is the origin of the word serf.

Usage[edit]

Use of this salute is roughly coincident with the boundaries of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is especially popular in Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania (mostly in Transylvania), as well as in southern parts of Germany (Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Palatinate), northern Croatia, Poland, eastern Slovenia (mostly in Slovenian Styria), and western Ukraine. It may be rarely used in Czech Republic (where is it considered an archaism, not used in common speech). The word may be used as a greeting, a parting salutation, or as both, depending on the region and context.

Despite its formal origins, "servus" is now used as an informal salute in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Austria.

See also[edit]

  • Ciao, an Italian salute of similar origin
  • Moin