Wicked Wednesday: A toast to…

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m bringing you a bit of random trivia about what the tradition of clinking glasses and saying “cheers” really means. I don’t know about you all, but I’ve never given it much thought. It was just one of those things that you did, right?

Well, no. According to this article, people cheer for a number of reasons – including as a way to avoid being poisoned. And to ward off ghosts or evil spirits. Who knew? Wickeds, what does toasting and sending “cheers” mean to you? Or, what is your favorite thing to toast?

Edith/Maddie: Well, the word used for “cheers” in several European languages – salud, santé, saúde – means “health.” German prosit means, essentially, “Do well!” Kampai in Japanese means “Drain your glass” – or, I guess, “Bottoms up.” For me, whatever the language, it’s a ritual of sharing a glass and of wishing my fellow drinkers well.

Barb: One thing I’ve noticed, now that the next generation of grandchildren, grandnieces and nephews is coming along, is that toddlers love a good “cheers.” It’s one of the first social rituals they glom onto. They’re always happy to clink a glass, or a sippy cup, and say, “Cheers!” with the rest of the family.

Sherry: Barb, we went through a phase of always having sparkling cider in the house for Elizabeth and her friends to toast with. I was in the play the Diary of Anne Frank in high school and we did a L’Chaim — to life toast. I’ve always loved that one. We do a cheers when we have family dinners. And toasts are a huge part of military dining ins and dining outs. There is a whole protocol for them.

Jessie: We toast all sorts of things at my house! Champagne is one of my favorite beverages. We cheer each other on habitually but for reallly noteworthy things we will stand at the dining table and give a short speech remarking on the triumph of another and then the speech maker leads thefamily in a rousing, three-round chorus of hip, hip hooray with glasses held aloft. It is has been a tradition in our home since forever and one of my favorite quirky things about life with my family.

Readers, tell us what you’re most likely to offer up some “Cheers!” for in the comments!

10 Thoughts

  1. To me it’s a happy event to be celebrated with loved ones be they family, by blood or by choice. It can be the return of one that’s been away, the arrival of a new baby, the attaining the new job or position, or just as simple as being able to gather together again. It’s a way of expressing happiness group happiness – for oneself or for everyone.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. Since I live on my own and have not been going out to dine with friends, the opportunity to raise a glass for a toast has been pretty slim so far this year.

    But as Edith mentioned above, the Japanese say “kampai” when raising a drinking cup of sake (rice wine) in celebration. Usually was done in my family during Japanese New Year’s celebration meals as a sign of good luck for the upcoming year Not sure though whether I will do any New Year’s meals and drinking for 2021.

  3. I have a book on my shelf somewhere that delves into the ritual of “cheers” and clinking glasses. The book traces the history of human kind through various beverages – beer, wine, spirits, coffee, and soda. The Girl had to read it in high school and I found it very interesting. But I don’t remember what the book said.

    We always raise a glass for celebrations of any kind.

  4. I love the cheer of cheers. We’ve always done it in our family for any event, or even the opening of a special bottle saved for a special occasion!

  5. With my kids grown, we rarely have the opportunity to dine together. On those happy occasions, I like to raise a glass and say “sláinte,” a traditional Irish version of cheers. It means “health.”

  6. My husband and I “cheers” with a glass of wine while I’m cooking dinner, and then we clink glasses again when we sit down to eat. I usually say “Bon appetit”, and he says “To the cook”. Unless he cooked, and then that’s what I say.

    My grandson was born when my daughter and her husband were well into their 30’s, and they continued their former ways of life. So Zak learned to toast with his sippy cup, too! We toasted that daughter’s 50th birthday via Zoom a few weeks ago, and I suspect we will toast again on Christmas Day, also via Zoom.

  7. My husband and I clink glasses and say cheers for any reason or no reason. We do a lot of lovey-dovey things after 47 years. Our 50-year old daughter thinks it’s “cute” and loves us for it. Which reminds me, there is a bottle of sparkling cider in the fridge. Maybe we can celebrate being safely inside tonight as the big storm hits.

  8. The history of “Cheers” makes me think of that episode of The Big Bang Theory where it is discussed. 🙂

    Here’s a cheers to you for another year of wonderful books!

  9. We like to cheer for the holidays. This past Thanksgiving, our family did a Zoom call where we each said what we’re thankful for and then we had a toast. We will do something similar for Christmas.

  10. When I say cheers it is for congratulations or celebration. I really never thought of any other reasons.

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