Moin (pronounced [ˈmɔɪn]) or moi is a Danish, Frisian and Low German greeting from East Frisia, Southern Schleswig (including North Frisia and Flensburg), Bremen, Hamburg, Kiel, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the eastern and northern Netherlands and Southern Jutland in Denmark, meaning "hello" and in some places "goodbye".
Moin is used at all times of day, not just in the morning (see Etymology and usage section below). The reduplicated form moin moin is often heard, although some authors claim it is regarded by locals as tourists' usage.
The German comic character Werner always greets with Moin.
Etymology and usage
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Many people think that moin derives from various regional pronunciations of (Guten) Morgen ("good morning"), which tend to alter, vocalise, or skip rg. However, the word may actually also derive from the Dutch, Frisian, and Low German word mo(o)i, meaning "beautiful" or "good". Similar forms in Low Saxon are mooien Dag, mooien Abend, mooien Mor(g)en. Possibly, as is common in etymology, one origin is correct (either from Morgen or mooi) but spread thank to its oral assimilation with the other term.
Unlike Guten Morgen, moin can be used 24 hours a day. It is semantically equivalent to the Low Saxon (Plattdüütsch) greeting Dagg and replaced it in many areas. In Southern Jutish, mojn is used for hello and good bye, but mojn mojn is solely used for good bye. The double form Moin Moin is also used as an all day greeting in for example Flensburg that belonged to Denmark until 1864 and the Swedish region of Scania, part of Denmark until 1658.
In Finland, a similar greeting moi (pronounced [ˈmoi]) is used for "hello", "hi" in the Finnish language. However, "moi moi" is used as a good bye, similarly as "bye bye" in English, even with a similar intonation. Both are particularly typical of Southwestern Finnish, but through internal migration to capital from there with the help of TV spread to rest of the language area. Moi's use is identical to hei: diminutive form of heippa & moikka, and the duplication as a good bye. Southwest Finland made commerce with Hanseatic cities, so it is plausible that the greeting was borrowed from their dialects.
"Moi" is also used in Dutch Low Saxon dialects.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Moin.|
- ut Westerend, Volker (2004). Nordseefische gehen auf Wurm: Schöne Ferien an der Waterkant. Der lustigste Urlaubsratgeber am plattdeutschen Strand (in German). BoD – Books on Demand. pp. 11–12. ISBN 3-8334-0025-0. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- Plattmaster.de, Moinmoin - wat heet dat?. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- Bormann, Andreas (2005). Nordseeküste Schleswig-Holstein (in German) (2nd ed.). Mair Dumont Marco Polo. p. 15. ISBN 3-8297-0302-3. Retrieved 2011-05-31.