This question, about the greeting "Grüß Gott!" got me thing about "Grüezi mitenand" ...
Who is the other person supposed to be, if people greet me that way when I am alone, y'all? (maybe it's God? :-)
German Language Stack Exchange is a bilingual question and answer site for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language. It's 100% free, no registration required.Sign up to join this community
grüezi mitenand should only be used for greeting multiple persons. You might have been greeted when you were alone by people who don't know the proper usage (e.g. tourists).
An Stelle von grüezi wird auch grüezi wohl, zur Begrüssung mehrerer Personen auch grüezi mitenand gebraucht.
In place of grüezi, also grüezi wohl is used, and for greeting multiple persons also grüezi mitenand.
»Grüezi mitenand« is swiss dialect. Translated in Standard German it would be:
Grüß euch miteinander
which again is a short form of
Ich grüße euch alle miteinander
And this is in English:
I greet you all together.
So you can use this salutation only when you greet a group of people. In contrast to »Grüß Gott«, it's yourself who is greeting. (In »Grüß Gott« you wish that the person you greet may be greeted by god, which means being blessed by god. So you can argument, that its not really you who is greeting. You just make wishes. You can think of »Grüß Gott« also as a German way to say »bless you god«)
There is also the swiss salutation »Grüezi« (without »mitenand«) which can also be used to greet a single person. It means in English (in its long form):
I greet you.