Here's looking at you

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on September 19, 2005

In Reply to: Here's looking at you posted by Smokey Stover 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
I'd like to underwrite everything Smokey says, and further to say that the purpose of having a glass bottom to your tankard is solely so that you can check the clarity of your beer. (Pewter tankards with glass bottoms were more durable than glasses, and therefore more practical in rough pubs.) The glass bottom has nothing whatever to do with press gangs or King's shillings, however many people tell you it has! (VSD)