Why do we Spanish speakers say “Salud”? Why "salud" when we make a toast

Hola! It is me again, I am here to explain you how to say cheers in spanish.

Yesterday I had a dinner with friends and of course when we were starting drinking we reach our glasses together and said “salud”, funny enough we were a group from different countries so we started talking about that word, and its origin, as Italian with “salute” ,and french with “sante” meaning exaclty the same…healt!

So I asked myself why do we use salud to make a toast, I decided to have a noisy on internet and this what I found.


Why did Salud become a popular toast?

There is not quite clear but the theories are quite interesting, let’s have a look

It seems that the origin comes from the old times, when greeks and romans ran the world, at that time, the most effective way to get rid of the enemy or let’s say even to get even your friend out of your way was poisoned them, so people started to put the glass of wine up and say salud and the rest just imitated the host to show they were confident enough nobody has put some kind of poison in the drinks as when they hit the glasses the wine splashed all the cups, so it was a way to say…hey you can poison me but you will get hurt as well…smart move…and of course saying Salud trusting they would not be poisoned and claiming health at least until the next big celebration.

Another story says that one king was hurt in battle and he came back to the castle a witch made him a beverage which avoid him to dye, that is why would be claiming  health when we drink.

Also it is an extended belief that we would hit the glasses as wine lovers say, wine is worthy to appreciate with 5 sense, and the one which implicates the ear is the one the wine does not have…but if you hit your glasses you can hear it, I am not as sure as if you can hear the wine of the glasses but it is fair enough.

why salud?

This will depend who you go with as…

According to the gods

we would say salud, as result of the romans, when we said salud was to greet Gods.

According to wine experts

we would say salud just as a wish to our friends, or people we are drinking with good health

more thing we say when we drink

Even when Salud is the most common one, we have more things we say when we make a toast, like if we are in a wedding or celebrating something we would say….POR el futuro…= to the future, POR los buenos momentos=to the good times.

Or something more informal we could use would be “chin chin” trying to imitate the noise, and of course the sentences all my english speaker friends love “ARRIBA, ABAJO, AL CENTRO Y A DENTRO” meaning something as “up, down, to the centre and inside” you do it moving the glass according with the instructions.

but it is right that even when we use these ones we say Salud at the end, just like a way to close it.



Whatever the reason, it is clear that is more than common nowadays to use it when we have a drink.

Do you know any more expressions we say when we drink or any other theories?All comments welcome.

Now enjoy a glass of wine and….remember SALUD!

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