Moin is a Frisian and Low German greeting from East Frisia, Southern Schleswig (inclusive North Frisia and Flensburg), Bremen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the eastern Netherlands and Southern Jutland in Denmark, meaning "hello".
Its use spread during the first half of the 20th century over the whole of northern Schleswig-Holstein
; it is also used in the Danish dialect Southern Jutish
. Due to the German comic character Werner
(who always greets with moin
), since the 1980s it is used more and more by younger people in southern parts of the German language area as well. In particular, the word has gained some popularity in internet
People in more southern parts of Germany often mistakenly assume that Moin is a short form of Morgen (meaning "morning") and should be used like "good morning". Saying "moin" in parts of Germany other than the north will indicate you to be a northerner. Non-locals often fall into the trap of using "moin moin" instead of "moin", which is more commonly used amongst the locals.
The word derives from the Frisian word mooi
, meaning "beautiful" or "good". In the also popular form moin moin
, the second moin
) means "day" in Frisian. Similar forms in Low saxon are mooien Dag
, mooien Abend
, mooien Mor(g)en
is semantically equivalent to the Low Saxon (Plattdüütsch
) greeting Tag
and replaced it in many areas. Therefore, moin
can be used 24 hours a day. The duplication moin moin
is used as emphasis and for a more polite form as well. In Southern Jutish, mojn
is used for hello and good bye, but mojn mojn
is solely used for good bye. Moin moin literally means "(Have a) good day".
Moin is also a likely root for the Finnish informal greetings moi ("hello" or "hi") and moi moi ("goodbye") which are typical of Southwestern Finnish.