Icelandic is one of the more confusing and challenging languages to learn. It’s considered a Germanic language and is closely related to Norwegian. The majority of speakers live in Iceland, but there are quite a few in Denmark and even the United States. When you visit Iceland you may be in a situation where you want to toast old or new friends and need to know the term for cheers. Don’t worry, we have you covered.
Cheers in Icelandic
The proper term is Skál (pronounced “sk owl”) Depending on who you ask there are several meanings for Skál. The first is skull and it’s said vikings used to use the skulls of people they killed to toast and drink mead. Not sure how believable that is, but it does make for a good conversation started. The second meaning is bowl and it’s history dates back to Scotland who honored and encouraged people to finish their drink when honoring someone. The third meaning is shell and has the same history as bowl.
Whichever meaning you want to believe, Skál is still widely used by everyone when toasting during celebration. So lift the glass high and get ready to drink a few alcoholic beverages.
Summary of Icelandic Cheers Drinking Toasts
In Iceland, it is customary to make a toast before drinking. Toasting is an important part of Icelandic culture and tradition, and there are many different types of toasts that can be made. The most common type of toast is called the skál, which means “cheers” in Icelandic. This traditional toast is usually accompanied by eye contact between those making the toast, followed by everyone taking a sip from their drink at the same time.
Other popular toasts include “Til hamingju!” (to good luck), “Gleðilegt!” (happy), and “Góðan daginn!” (good day). These types of toasts can be used when celebrating special occasions or just for fun with friends and family. It’s also common for people to give a more personalised toast when they are raising a glass—the recipient may be thanked for something they have done or praised for some accomplishment or trait.
The practice of making toasts has been around since ancient times in Iceland, but it still remains an important part of modern-day celebrations as well as everyday life in this country. Whether you’re having dinner with friends or attending a formal event like a wedding reception, offering up a few meaningful words over drinks will always add warmth and joy into any gathering.