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Origin of "Cheers"

Posted by ESC on January 12, 2000

In Reply to: Origin of "Cheers" posted by Joseph Willis on January 11, 2000

: Just recently moved to England and wondering what the origin of this word is?

: Thanks ... or rather, "cheers"!
"British English A to Zed" by Norman W. Schur doesn't have the origin of cheers. It just said it was at first consider non-upper class and was "frowned on in some circles where 'Your health' or 'Good luck' was preferred. It was gradually taken over, perhaps at first facetiously, and is now established practically everywhere." I am assuming from this that it was a drinking toast or salute.