Toasting and blessings

When drinking whiskey it is common to offer a toast or a blessing, depending on one’s culture.

Montgomery Scott with Scotch

In Ireland and Scotland, one says Sláinte or slàinte (SLAHN-chə) (“health”); this is the common term in several Gaelic languages.

In Jewish culture, the toast is “לחיים” (L’chayyim, to life), or one says a benediction – ברוך אתה ה’ א‑לוהינו, מלך העולם, שהכל נהיה בדברו, “Praised are You, Lord, King of the universe, through whose word everything comes into being.”

In traditional Christian communities it is common to say grace, a short prayer before or after a meal. There are a wide variety of versions.

The most common toasts when drinking, adapted from the article on Wikipedia, include:

  • Australian English: Cheers mate! (to your happiness my friend)
  • Chinese (Mandarin): “干杯” (gānbēi, lit. “Empty cup”, similar to “bottoms up”)
  • Danish: “Skål” (lit. “bowl”, refers to older drinking vessels)
  • Dutch: “Proost” (from Latin prosit “may it be good” (i.e., for you))
  • English: “Cheers”, “Bottom’s up”, “Chin-chin”
  • German: “Prost”, “Prosit”, (may it be good) or “Zum Wohl” (to health)
  • Greek: “Εις υγείαν” (is iyían), “γειά” (for health) or “Εβίβα” (eviva, “long life!”)
  • Hebrew: “לחיים” (“L’Chayyim”) (to life)
  • Icelandic: “Skál” (lit. “bowl”, referring to older drinking vessels)
  • Irish: “Sláinte” (health)
  • Italian: “Cin Cin” or “Salute” (health)
  • Mexican Spanish: “Salud” (to health) or “Saludcita” (to health, diminutive)
  • Russian: “Ваше здоровье!” (Vashe zdorov’ye, to your health)
  • Scottish Gaelic: “Slàinte mhath” (good health)
  • Welsh: “Iechyd da (i chi)” (Good health (to you))

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