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This article is about the central/eastern European salutation. For the Austrian TV channel, see Servus TV. For ancient Roman slaves, see Slavery in ancient Rome.

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".[1]


These words originate from the Latin word for servant, servus. The phrase is an ellipsis of a Latin expression servus humillimus, Domine spectabilis, meaning your humble servant, my noble Lord. No subservience is implied in its modern use. meaning, "I am your servant" or "at your service". Servus is the origin of the word serf.[1]


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.[1]

Despite its formal origins, "servus" is now used as an informal salute in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary and Romania.[1]

See also[edit]