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How to Say "Cheers" in 20 Different Languages

How do you say cheers? Is it by simply saying ‘cheers’ with your glass raised right before a drink? Or maybe you do it the way they do in Germany and have a different celebratory word depending on the type of spirit in your glass.

The word "cheers" evolved from a Latin word referring to the facial expression, but eventually, it has come to be used to as a celebratory salutation before clinking  glasses together.

Where does the tradition of tapping your glasses together come from? The most popular theories include an old European superstition that the sound of clashing glasses would scare away any nearby evil spirits. Alternatively, drink connoisseurs suggest that the clinking of the glasses may be to invite all 5 senses into the drink enjoyment – sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound.

Countries all over the world have their traditional way of saying cheers... which one will you try at your next cocktail party?!

Isreal – “La’ Chaim” / To Life

Australia – Over on the other side of the world, our Aussie friends also use the word “cheers” as a toast before drinks, but they have also been known to use “bottoms up”. Bottoms up may also be a song by R&B artist Trey Songz, but this saying has yet to popularize in the USA.

Greenland – Kassutta / Let our glasses meet

India – “Chak Dey”/ Bottoms up

Greece – “Yiamas” / To Our Health

Chinese – “Gan Bei” / dry the cup . That’s one saying we can definitely agree with!

Czezh Republic – The Czechs use “Na zdravi” which translates to “to your health”. They don’t just clink glasses either, the drinkers must keep intense eye contact with each other while taking that first sip to avoid showing any signs of disrespect.

Spain – "Salud"/ Health

Serbia – "Ziveli" / Let’s Live Long

Finland – The Finnish use "Kippis" as an informal way to say cheers, or "Maljanne" for a more formal toast which translates to "A toast to you (Sir)".

France – "A votre santé" / A toast to your health

Germany – Germans have been known to use different toasts based on what is in their cup, but the traditional word for cheers is “Prost” – most commonly used with beer or schnapps. Wine drinkers tend to use “Zum Wohl” /” to your health”.

Ireland – “Slainte” / To your health

England – The English tend to use “Cheers” or “cheerio” before taking a swig of their favorite drink.

Italy – “Salute!” / Cheers

Romanian – “Noroc” / Good luck

Ukraine – The Ukrainians like to make their ‘cheer’ a group activity. One person screams “Budmo” (may we live forever) and the rest of the crowd repeats the saying.

Denmark – The word for cheers is “skal”, but they also have a fun little saying “Bunden I vejret eller resten i haret” which translates to “bottoms up or the rest in your hair”

Costa Rica – “Pura Vida” / Pure life

Malaysia – “Minum!” / Drink!

Have any other ways of saying cheers? Share in the comments section!

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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