Drink a toast

A map of the different ways to say "Cheers!" to express good wishes before drinking in several languages
The healthiest activity, some people might say

It might sound too obvious that when we raise our glasses and we toast, we do to it for our health. Here is a map of this word. Ironically if you do it too much, you might not be as healthy as doctors would recommend. So like any good thing in life, do it moderately. That is the case for the majority of languages. Maybe not in your own language, like English Cheers, which refered to a state of joy. And so it does in Albanian, Latvian, and surprisingly in Asturian “Gayola” (Notice that in Spanish sounds quite weird). In Georgia when they gather to drink a glass of wine you might hear გაუმარჯოს “victory, triumph”.

Cultural mapping allows us to spot these differences and appreciate the diversity and variation of ideas: To have luck, in Romanian, For our honor in Turkish & Azerbaijani, In Scandinavia, they say skål, which means bowl. We could even find it not a long time ago in English “skoal”, nowadays is used in Belgium (Schol) we can read it on the lab of the beer Skol and hear it in the anthem of the Minnessota Vikings. Also in Scandinavian Prost is the common expression when someone sneezes, but in Germany and Netherlands is “cheers”. It is quite well-known abroad, probably because of the Oktoberfest. It comes from Latin prostit, meaning roughly “be well”.

Finally, Chin-chin. We used a lot in Romance languages: French tchin-tchin, Catalan xin-xin, Italian cin cin, Portuguese tchim-tchim, and Brasilian Portuguese tim-tim or tintim. The Spanish “chin-chin or chinchín” is said to be onomatopoeic but it seems it comes from… Chinese: from Mandarin “請請” (qing qing) literally “please, please”. It arrived in Europe towards Pidgin English in the late 18th century. Oh, dear etymologies! Cheers!

There are still some mysterious words on the map (The pink one), if you know their meaning, write it down in the comments.

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