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See also: servus


Alternative forms[edit]


The greeting evolved from the commoners’ greeting in Latin servus humillimus (your humblest servant), said to lords.[1] No subservience is implied in modern use. Compare Slovak servus, Romanian servus, German servus, Swedish tjenare. See also the similar etymology at csaó and alászolgája.


  • IPA(key): [ ˈsɛrvus]
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: szer‧vusz
  • Rhymes: -us



  1. (semi-formal) hello, goodbye
  2. cheers (toast)

Usage notes[edit]

Used both for hello and goodbye to someone whom the speaker addresses in the second person. When greeting a group of people, szervusztok is used. Szervusz is more formal and polite than the colloquial szia. It may be used, for example, if one is on first-name terms with the other (see tegeződik) but still wants to convey a respectful attitude.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zaicz, Gábor. Etimológiai szótár: Magyar szavak és toldalékok eredete (’Dictionary of Etymology: The origin of Hungarian words and affixes’). Budapest: Tinta Könyvkiadó, 2006, →ISBN

Further reading[edit]

  • szervusz in Bárczi, Géza and László Országh: A magyar nyelv értelmező szótára (’The Explanatory Dictionary of the Hungarian Language’). Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1959–1962.