The word cheers has not been uttered by many individuals this year. With the recent Covid-19 pandemic, numerous forest fires, and police brutality riots of 2020, there has been little or no cause for celebration. Many countries, however, are saying goodbye to lockdowns and reopening schools, bars, and churches.
This has brought joy to many people’s hearts in different countries who were having difficulty coping with the situation. Numerous individuals are raising a glass to better days and uttering the traditional toast cheers.
Meaning and History of the Word Cheer
Cheer is a happy word attached to celebrations and friendship. Additionally, the term is used in supporting a sports team or a sportsperson. Furthermore, cheer is used when someone is trying to lift the spirits of someone who’s sad.
In the past, however, the word cheer was not all about joy and comfort. Sometimes the word embraced far sadder emotions as well. The story of cheer began in ancient times with the Latin ‘cara’ meaning head or face. Centuries later, the word cheer traveled into French. In French, the word cheer was known as ‘cheir.’ From French, the word traveled onto English as ‘cheer.’
When the word first traveled into English in the past, it was used to describe someone’s facial expression. Individuals used the term to particularly describe the reflection on someone’s face of their inner feelings. The feeling of happiness, calm, anger, or melancholy, and many others could be described using the word cheer.
Early References of the Word Cheer
Most of the early references of the word cheer linger on the term’s utilization to describe sadness. For instance, the term cheer is utilized in a 15th-century reworking of the story of King Arthur.
In the story, Sir Lancelot is described as departing suddenly with a heavy cheer. Others in the same period are described as having a sad and sori cheer. Additionally, some individuals in the story are described to have a waylinge and lamentable cheer.
After a couple of centuries passed, the noun cheer took on a happier note. To cheer someone on was to shout words of encouragement from the sidelines. While as early as the 19th century, to give three cheers was to celebrate a triumph or achievement. In the same 19th century, what cheer was a common greeting used to mean how are you. The phrase what cheer eventually got worn down to wotcha as the years went by.
Use of the Word Cheers in a Toast
Numerous people nowadays utter the word cheers as a sign-off, meaning thank you. Originally, however, uttering cheers as a sing-off meant wishing someone good cheer upon parting. Additionally, many people use the word cheers nowadays as a toast. Several people, however, don’t know about the history of the phrase toast.
The word toast goes back to the medieval tradition of adding spiced toast to wine at a celebration. The person being toasted was thought to add flavor to the gathering just as the toast did to the wine. So whenever someone uses the word cheers as a toast, they want to celebrate someone or something important to them that brings them joy.