8 Ways to Say Goodbye
The parting expression goodbye has been used in English since the 16th century. Originally a contraction of the phrase God be with ye, the religious connotations of goodbye have long since fallen away. Etymologists believe that good replaced god in this phrase thanks to the influence of terms like good day and good night, which date to Middle English.
Sayonara comes to English from the Japanese meaning "goodbye," or literally, "if it is to be that way." It first crossed over into English in the late 19th century, often associated with travelers, both military and civilian. This term experienced a peak in usage in the 1950s and 1960s, propelled by appearances in pop culture, such as the 1957 Marlon Brando film Sayonara, based on a 1954 novel.
[uh-doo, uh-dyoo]
Adieu entered English when Middle English was still spoken, back in the 14th century. Much like goodbye, this farewell has religious origins; it comes from the Middle French meaning “to God.” This ultimately comes from a longer expression in Old French va a deu meaning “go to God.”
[ad-ee-ohs, ah-dee-]
English borrowed adieu from French in the Middle Ages and adios from Spanish in the early modern period. Like its French counterpart, this term means “to god,” though it is uttered today without religious implications.
[ouf vee-duhr-zey-uhn]
Auf Wiedersehen is an expression of goodbye that comes from the German meaning "until we meet again," or more literally, "on seeing again." It entered the English language in the 19th century and peaked in English usage in the late 1930s, no doubt thanks to World War II.
Ciao comes from the Italian dialectal term schiavo which means "(I am your) slave," or more colloquially "your humble servant." It ultimately finds its roots in the medieval Latin sclavus meaning "slave."
The expression farewell dates from Middle English, though back then it was sometimes spelled farwel. When it first entered English, speakers bid farewell to friends starting out on a journey, but after time, it took on the more general sense of a parting goodbye.
[ahs-tah lah vees-tah]
Hasta la vista comes from the Spanish for “until we meet” or, more literally, “until the sighting.” Though it's been in the English lexicon since the early part of the 20th century, this goodbye gained popularity in the 1990s with the help Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular cyborg in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.