Using the plural in greetings based on time of day

From time to time I hear people say “Boas tardes” or “bons dias”. A cashier in a store said that to me today when I went into the store. What is the significance of using the plural, rather than saying “boa tarde”? I found this amusing article but would enjoy hearing other ideas on this topic.

"'Como se sabe, em latim, dar os bons dias era ave dicere. Ave! – imperativo de aveo, desejar boa saúde, não por pouco tempo, evidentemente. E as boas noites com vale, valete se traduzem em latim. (Que é como quem diz: - Passai ou passai bem). Claro está que tal desejo não se restringia a um só dia, uma só tarde, uma só noite.

Os Espanhóis também se mostram generosos. Quando se saúdam, exclamam: Buenos días, buenas tardes, buenas noches.'"

Indeed, since I am far more fluent in Spanish than in Portuguese, I feel comfortable with “boas tardes” although it does not roll off the tongue as smoothly as “boa tarde”.

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@blamar, I don’t think there’s any particular significance to using plural vs. singular, in practice. It’s just a variation. The article you linked to mentions that some people might use it when addressing multiple people, but also appropriately notes that there’s no logic in that. It also suggests that it could be a generous way of wishing not only for one single good day/afternoon/night, but several :slight_smile: I am yet to come across someone who’s actually thinking this when using the plural.