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Servus (German: Servus, Slovak: Servus, Slovene: Serbus or Servus, Serbian: Serbus or Servus (Сербус, Сервус), Croatian: Serbus or Servus, Hungarian: Szervusz, Polish: Serwus, Austrian German: Servus or Seavas, Romanian: 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" (which also comes from the slave meaning through venetian s'ciavo).
These words originate from servus, the Latin word for servant or slave. (Servus is also the origin of the word "serf".) The phrase is an ellipsis of a Latin expression servus humillimus, domine spectabilis, meaning "[your] most humble servant, [my] noble lord". No subservience is implied in its modern use, which has the force of "at your service".
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, middle and southern Hesse), northern Croatia, eastern Slovenia (mostly in Slovenian Styria), and western Ukraine. It may be rarely used in Czech Republic and Poland (where it is 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, Austria, Südtirol, Slovenia, Hungary, and Romania. In Hungarian, several shortened versions of "szervusz" remain popular, like "szevasz", "szeva", "szia", and "szió".