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Italian, but used by the French and hipsters everywhere. It's contagious. Etymology courtesy A.Word.A.Day :

    {Italian, from dialectal ciau, alteration of Italian (sono vostro) schiavo, (I am your) slave, from Medieval Latin sclavus.}

I am your slave! So long!

Ciao is also used widely in Germany, where it managed to confuse the hell out of me.

Me: Auf wiedersehen!
German Local: Ciao!
Me: Que?
GL: What?
Me: Ciao?
GL: Ciao!
Me: Why do you keep saying ciao?
GL: Because you're leaving, of course.
Me: Oh. Well, ciao!
GL: Auf weidersehen!

In some parts of Italy they still say something like "s'ciao" (to be pronounced s-chow).

On a totally different tack, a Ciao in Yurp is an italian moped made by Garelli.
The engine is 50 cc. (that's to to say, very very small) and makes a noise like a very big mosquito. It is a two-cycle, air cooled, one-cylinder (of course) job, delivering just enough power to propel the moped to 50 km/h (about 30 Mph for the imperially minded).
The Ciao looks like a clumsy, beefed up woman's bicycle, and it has pedals. You use the pedals to start it up (no starter motor). There is a front light, a back red light and no turning signals - much like on a bicycle you are supposed to use your hands. Most people do not, and many of them die as a consequence.
People feel that 50 km/h is not deadly enough, so they do all sort of modifications to the basic Ciao. You can alter the muffler (but this is visible from the outside, and cops will impound the vehicle), mount a bigger carburetor or (sexiest) modify the piston and cylinder, turning the engine into an 80 cc.
Of course, the Ciao frame is not meant for handling any more power, and spontaneous disassembly becomes a risk.

The Ciao runs on (if I remember correctly) leaded gas with 2% oil mixed in, which means that if it is not tuned properly it will belch out obnoxious blue smoke.

what it is good for

A Ciao (or other moped) is very convenient in crowded cities with narrow streets and no parking spaces. It handles more or less as a bicycle, goes faster, uses very little fuel and parks everywhere.
It is probably the cheapest powered vehicle you can get in Italy, and you can drive it at 14 (because it is 50 cc.).

Is also a wonderful utility used by the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.
CIAO = Chandra Imaging Analysis of Observations.
Its useful for data reduction that is done by squeamish data monkeys called interns...
But I digress..
You can use CIAO for spectrum analysis, lightcurves of variable sources, and anything your little heart desires.

Ciao is the name of www.ciao.co.uk, a British website.

It is a consumer based website which gives impartial advice on products written by users

Products include many things:-

  • Cars & Motorbikes
  • Health & Beauty
  • Computers & Internet
  • House & Family
  • Electronics & Photography
  • Food & Beverages
  • Telecommunications
  • Shopping
  • Games
  • Education & Careers
  • Entertainment
  • Travel & City Guide
  • Banking & Personal Finance
  • Sport
    Due to the impartial nature and multiple postings on the same products, a good indication of the value/quality of the product can be acquired.
  • Surveys are also sent via e-mail to users and these can be used to earn money. The amount rewarded varies depending on the product.

    Money is earned based on the amount of reads a product opinion gains, giving an incentive to users.

    Users are called 'Ciaoers' and form part of an online community. The is the 'cafe' where ciaoers can write poetry,jokes and give top-ten lists in varying subjects.

    Ciao is run by a company called Ciao-Aktiengesellschaft, a German market reasearch company. There are also French, Italian, Spanish and of course German versions of Ciao

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