why do we clink glasses and say cheers

Itвs not something we spend much time thinking about. You toast one another, you вcheersв, you clink glasses, and then the rest is (often forgotten) history. But why do we clink glasses while staring into each otherвs eyes. And what exactly has toast got to do with anything? Well, apparently, the custom of raising a glass to one another before drinking originated with the Romans and the Greeks (surprise, surprise), who used to offer wine to their gods before celebrations. The expression вto toastв, meanwhile, does actually come from the practice of putting a piece of toast in your drink. It was something people did in Elizabethan times to improve the taste of wine в the bread soaked up some of the acidity in poor wines.


It also helped stretch supplies further in times of scarcity, by softening stale bread. The earliest written account of the custom comes fromВShakespeareвsВThe Merry Wives Of Windsor, when Falstaff says вGo fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast inвtв. As for clinking glasses before drinking, there are a few theories. One is that early Europeans hoped the sound would drive off evil spirits. Another is that it was once used as a method of ensuring no one had poisoned your drink в vigorous clinking would mean your drink mixed with your drinking partnerвs, making attempts at poisoning far too dangerous. However, there is no real evidence to support either theory.


Itвs believed the tradition is a more recent one and is likely done because people enjoyed the вclinkв of their glasses coming together before drinking. It is also thought to symbolise the coming together of friends over a few drinks в by physically touching glasses, drinkers become part of a communal celebration. Most nationalities also offer up good wishes as they toast. Brits, of course, say вcheersв, which is believed to date back to theВOld French word
в chiere вВ meant вface, countenance, look, expressionв, but by the 18th century had come to mean вgladnessв and began to be used as a way of expressing encouragement.


And, finally, if you want to be really pedantic about it, you can insist every drinker looks you in the eye as you clink glasses individually. Failure to do so, the superstition goes, will result in bad sex for seven years. Where that originated, we have no idea. But, most people blame the French. MORE: MORE: my first thought, seeing the name of the questioner, was that maybe it has something to do with baseball? but that's not what i found when i did a quick etymology search and found the following at etymonline. com: CHEERS c. 1225, from Anglo-Norm. chere "the face," from O. Fr. chiere, from L. L. cara "face," from Gk. kara "head," from PIE base *ker- "head. " Already by M. E. meaning had extended metaphorically to "mood, demeanor, mental condition" as reflected in the face.


Could be in a good or bad sense ("The feend. beguiled her with treacherye, and brought her into a dreerye cheere," "Merline," c. 1500), but positive sense has predominated since c. 1400. Meaning "shout of encouragement" first recorded 1720, perhaps nautical slang (earlier "to encourage by words or deeds," c. 1430). Cheer up (intrans. ) first attested 1676. Cheers as a salute or toast when taking a drink is British, 1919. Cheerleader first recorded 1903, Amer. Eng. Cheerful is from c. 1400. you might want to explain the clinking glasses part. it is pretty interesting. go sox.

  • Views: 49

why do wine glasses have a stem
why do you hold a wine glass by the stem
why do we clink glasses when we toast
why do we clink glasses when we say cheers
why do we clink glasses and say cheers
why do we clink glasses when we toast
why do we clink glasses when we say cheers