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Did You Know? Ciao!

What’s the origin of the four-letter-word imported from Italy, that has become now a universal greeting?

Its origin goes back to the Venetian dialect and in particular to the phrase sciao vostro, which means ‘I am your slave’. Over time, the expression was abbreviated to simply sciao while still keeping the same meaning. Even though its origin goes back to the Venetians dialect, its fortune comes from Romans who by conquering almost the whole of Europe contributed to the spread of Roman language first and then Latin, which was later influenced by the local populations and so by their dialects. Today, it would be incorrect to say hello by using the word ‘slave’, but in the past the word was used to express deep respect. Throughout history, Italians instinctively recognised that ‘ciao’ isn’t a greeting to be used with anyone, but it is an informal way especially used among young generations.

Ciao for now!