CHEERS! Bottom’s up! Here’s mud in your eye! Cin-Cin! Have you ever wondered how to say cheers in French? Here are 11 ways to raise a glass and make a toast in French and 20 different Romance languages. You might be surprised how similar they sound.
The custom of drinking with others and clinking glasses with a toast is almost second nature.
It can help cement friendships, celebrate new ones, ring in the new year, and wish couples health, wealth, and happiness at weddings. Toasts can be solemn, humorous, sentimental, and even insulting in a funny way.
It’s an age-old ritual that dates back centuries and every country seems to have their own expressions for toasting in its language.
I first became curious about how similar and different the expressions used for making a toast were in the romance languages when a Portuguese friend said saúde during a toast.
She pronounced it /Sow-jee/, which sounded similar but different from the French word for cheers.
If you’re familiar with romance languages, you know that there are many words that can sound similar in a different languages.
You might be interested in reading: Romance languages: What makes them romantic and other fun and fascinating facts
First, let’s go over the many ways to say cheers in French.
How to say cheers in French
There is more than one way to give a toast in French. I’ve listed 11 of the more common ways to say cheers in French.
The 11th way is a fun French drinking song with a video demonstration.
After that, we’ll go over how to say cheers in the other romance languages.
1) To your Health
- à votre santé : (Formal) The polite form of toasting with someone. Also, use this when clinking glasses with a group of people.
- à ta santé : (informal) Use this when toasting with someone you know very well, a good friend, family member etc.
This is just a shortening of the toast “à votre santé”, and “à ta santé”. It’s probably the most popular way of saying cheers in French.
3) Here’s to you
- à la tienne (informal)
- à la votre (Formal)
4) Bottoms Up
- Cul Sec
“Cul sec” literally means bottom dry, or it could be translated as ass dry because “Cul” also means ass in French. In this case, Cul refers to the bottom of the glass or bottle. Sec means dry.
So when you drink until there is no more liquid, the bottom is dry. “Bottom dry. ”
5) In the eyes
- Dans les yeux!
This expression for toasting probably has something to do with the fact it’s a tradition in France and many other cultures to look someone squarely and very intently in the other persons eyes as you go around clinking glasses with everyone.
Tchin-Tchin in French is pronounced the same as in English / chin chin/.
The origins of this toast are unclear. Most people think that it represents the sound of clinking glasses. However, there is quite a bit of lore about its true origins.
One theory is that it’s a made-up Italian expression based on the Cinzano brand.
Cinzano is Italy’s famous sweet vermouth brand. Some sources say that “Cin” was the shortened version of the brand that people started saying around the 19th century. From there, it travelled to France, the rest of Europe, and now every country seems to use this expression.
The other theory about the origins of Tchin-Tchin is that it’s a Chinese expression. You be the judge.
Qǐng qǐng in Chinese means “please, please.” This was supposedly the way Chinese people used to toast as in “please, please, let’s drink.”
7) Let’s toast!
- On Trinque!
These two expressions both use the French verb for toast, “Trinquer,” but it also means “to clink glasses” as well as “have a drink.”
Trinquer has a second meaning, “to suffer.”
For example, here’s a well-known French proverb using wordplay with the verb trinquer.
- “Les parents boivent, les enfants trinquent“.
- The Parents drink, the children suffer (not the kids toast). Get it?
If you throw that French phrase into google translate, it thinks it means, “parent drink, children toast.” LOL!
This is why you can’t always trust Google translate people!
8) To (add any word here)
Just say “TO ” followed by anything.
- To Love (à l’amour)
- To life (à la vie)
- To us (à nous deux) Literally means to us two, or to the both of us.
9) Let’s drink
Buvons is the first person plural form of the French verb boire (to drink). I’ve conjugated the verb below for reference.
- je bois – I drink
- tu bois – you drink
- il/elle boit – he/she drinks
- Nous bouvons – We drink
- Ils boivent – They drink
10) Let’s go or Go on
In French, “Allez” can be used for just about anything. It usually means let’s go but used in this context; it’s like saying “go on” as in Go on, shall we drink?
11) French Drinking song: “Friend, raise your glass, and above all, don’t spill it…”
Once you’ve had just enough booze to be in the singing spirit, you can always bust out with a French drinking song. “la chanson paillarde” or “la chanson à boire.”
There are quite a few but let’s focus on the one called “He’s one of us” (Il est des nôtres.) It involves singing and often adding someone’s name to the song, then touching your glass to your forehead, nose, stomach, and crotch, followed by a toast.
Here are the lyrics with English translation, followed by a video of some people singing it during a toast.
|Il est des nôtres
|French Lyrics||Translated to English|
|Ami(e) (add name) lève ton verre !||Friend (add name), raise your glass,|
|Et surtout, ne le renverse pas !||But definitely don’t spill it!|
|Et porte-le||And put it|
|au frontibus||to your forehead|
|au nasibus||to your nose|
|au mentibus||to your chin|
|au ventribus||to your stomach|
|au sexibus||to your crotch|
|et glou et glou et glou…||Gulp, gulp, gulp,
(*you have to keep repeating
until the drink is chugged)
|Il est des nôtres!||He is one of us!|
|Il a bu son verre comme les autres !||He finished his drink like the others|
|C’est un ivrogne||he’s a drunk|
|ça se voit rien qu’à sa trogne !||You can tell just by looking at his (her) face|
Here’s how you do the French drinking song to the song Il est des nôtres.
How to say cheers in 20 different romance languages
One of the first things you’ll notice about toasting in different romance languages is that the expressions sound very similar.
That’s because romance languages are all Latin based and share a lot of vocabulary which we call cognates.
For example, the word for love is a romance cognate in many romance languages because they all come from Latin “Amor.”
- French: Amour
- Italian: Amore
- Spanish: Amor
- Portuguese: Amor
Below, I’ve bolded the word that means “health” in each romance language, which is one of the ways you can say cheers in most romance languages.
Remember that there are over 40 different romance languages. I’ve only included 20 because I couldn’t find translations for some lesser-known romance languages.
|Cheers in Romance Languages|
À votre santé
A bon pro!
|Gascon||A la santat!|
alla nostra salute
|Occitan||A la bona santat!
A la nòstra!
|Picard||A vo boéne santè!|
Longo Mai! (long life)
Wrapping up saying cheers in romance languages
When it comes to saying cheers in any of these romance languages, you can’t go wrong because someone will probably understand you no matter which language you say it in.
Cheers! Santé, Salut! Santat!, Salût, Saúde!, Salud!
Sources for many of the translations: I don’t trust Google translate.