Here's looking at you

Posted by Smokey Stover on September 19, 2005

In Reply to: Here's looking at you posted by J. G. Laffman on September 19, 2005

: What's the origin of the phrase "Here's looking at you."? Does it relate to the glass bottom tankards used in taverns of old?

I assume you know the phrase from Rick's remark to Ilsa in Casablanca. I may be totally wrong, but I believe 1) that Bogart put the accent on the wrong word, indicating that it was a phrase not very familiar to the actor, and 2) that it was a sort of salute or acknowledgment that might be heard in other nightclubs besides Rick's. An emcee or host might single out for attention, possibly a brief moment in the spotlight (a real spotlight, perhaps, not just a figurative one), a performer or a special guest. It might be accompanied by the gesture of a raised glass. The saluter and the salultee would normally be a little distance apart, so that "looking at you" would replace some more intimate gesture such as slapping the other's back or embracing him or her or raising his/her arm. The phrase was not normally accompanied by the word "kid," but more often the name of the salutee. SS