phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: The Real Origin of the word Cheers

Posted by Cloudesley on July 17, 2003

In Reply to: The Real Origin of Cheers posted by Cloudesley on July 17, 2003

Origin of the word 'Cheers'
By Cloudesley, with an assist from Oxford's J.H.Marshall of OWLS

In the medieval times 'cheer' meant face and by that expression or mood. Although the phrase "makien cheres, & wrenchen mis hore" (making cheers, & wenching miss whore)was written in 1225 ad. By the mid fourteen hundreds the phrase "what chere be with you?" was a common greeting. At this time 'chere' also began to mean good humour. It wasn't until 1919 that "cheers" was written a salutation before a drink. The custom of touching glasses is recorded in the 'Oxford English Dictionary' from at least 1820
(the 'Regency' period) as something done by fashionable English gentlemen when drinking together.