Why cheers ?
We raise our glasses, clink them together and say “Cheers.” But do you know why this custom began ?
Across the world, people generally accompany the clinking of glasses with a toast, be it “salud” (Spain), “proost” (the Netherlands), “skál” (Scandinavia) or many others we could add to the list. All these expressions refer to health or happiness or both.
The custom of toasting your companions is thought to originate from the Ancient Greeks and Romans who would toast the gods when feasting and celebrating at their banquets. Bound up with the celebratory toast would be the desire for a long, happy life and since then, humans have expressed the same idea with by raising their glasses upwards and wishing each other well, even if we do this almost without thinking about it today.
The word “cheer” is derived from the Latin “cara” which meant face, but by the Middle Ages, the meaning had evolved and it signified mood or expression. By the late 1500’s, the word began to be linked to positive sentiments, and from there it became a toast to health and happiness.
I’m off for a drink. Cheers, everyone.
2 replies on “Why do we say cheers ?”
Okay, that’s one mystery cleared up. Can you tell me why people say, “Ta”?
A good question Ellen, which has given me inspiration for my next post, so ta for that !