Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the honor; for other uses, see Toast (disambiguation).
A toast is someone or something in honor of which people usually have a drink, or the drink or honor itself, or the act of indicating that honor. For example, a person could be the toast of the town, for whom someone proposes a toast, after which everyone toasts the honoree.
The act of toasting consists of three parts: The verbal toast, the agreement, and the symbolic drink. In the verbal part, one person states a reason for the toast. This can be as simple as "Cheers!" or "Here's to good friends," or as complex as an anecdote followed by a statement of good will (for example, "Wishing both of you a marriage that lasts forever"). Everyone else present signifies agreement by lifting their drinks into the air, often accompanied by shouted or murmured sounds of agreement, either repeating the toast word ("Cheers!") or confirming the sentiment with terms such as "Hear! Hear!", and often followed by touching one's drinkware (the glass, the mug, and so on) against those of everyone else within reach. The symbolic drink is simply a matter of imbibing some of the drink to confirm the agreement; this can be a quick sip or a long draught, with no particular emphasis indicated either way.
Many situations in which toasts take place involve alcoholic beverages, usually champagne for particularly special occasions, but there is no requirement that the beverages contain alcohol. Often, drinks are mixed among participants, such as when some people drink sparkling cider instead of champagne. It is a tradition in the United States Navy that a toast never be made with water, this being said to indicate that the person so honored will be doomed to a watery grave.
Examples of traditional places for toasts include the following:
- At a western-style wedding reception, the best man usually proposes a toast (that is, he toasts the couple) in the form of best wishes and congratulations to the newlyweds, after which everyone raises a glass (usually of champagne) in agreement and then sips from the glass.
- In English-speaking Christmas celebrations, drinking wassail involved giving a toast to the season and often floating a piece of toasted bread in the drink.
Toasts in fiction
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