Meaning and history of the Italian word Ciao

Jun 19, 2020 470

It is known for being used as either "hello" or "goodbye" between family members, friends, and those amongst the same peer group. Although Ciao is seen as an Italian greeting, it has only been to a part of the Italian vocabulary since the 20th century.

The Origins of Ciao

According to La Gazzetta Italiana, "The word ciao, in fact, derives from the Venetian dialectal word s'ciàvo (slave or servant)". Originally, this term represented a servant's common way to salute and show respect to his master. By pronouncing s'ciàvo, or more specifically s'ciàvo vostro, he meant "I am your slave" or, in a less degrading meaning, "I am your servant." 

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