Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Ciao, Slave-Driver

Medieval Italians were terribly serious fellows. They would wander around solemnly declaring to each other "I am your slave". However, being Medieval Italians they weren't able to say it in English, so they had to say Sono vostro schiavo instead.

Then they got lazy and shortened it to schiavo. In the North, where they were lazier still, this got changed to ciau. Then the Italians got all energetic and tried to join in the Second World War. British troops were sent to tick them off. We invaded and Monty spent several days in a casino.

When our troops got back they introduced the word ciao into English and it is now much used. But be wary, when you say ciao; however merry and debonair you may think you're being, you are declaring your own enslavement.

This also means that Michelangelo's Dying Slave (pictured) is saying ciao.


  1. I don't think he's saying 'Ciao'. I think he's saying, 'How much longer do I have to stand here like this? I'm flippin' freezing.' Or is that a very, very unintellectual thing to say about a lovely statue? (Don't answer that.)

  2. In Austria, one says 'servus' when greeting a friend. Different lingo, same deal.

    These posts are sparkly little gems of absolute fun. I love them.