A Cheers or A Toast? What’s the Difference?

All around the world, there are many celebrations happening for graduations, promotions, weddings, and other massive events. You’ll hear the words “cheers” and “toast” thrown around when people are celebrating, but what do these words mean, and what’s the difference between them?

A toast is a formal term since a toast refers to giving a speech to someone. This speech is to honor the person(s) being spoken to, and it tends to be emotional and formal. Meanwhile, saying “cheers” is a fun expression you can use in casual environments. This term is most commonly said at bars as a drinking toast.

The rest of this article will cover what a toast is, and what cheers is.

What A Toast Is

If you’ve ever been to a graduation party, you’ll see the mother or father of the graduate stand up to make a toast to their child. This is because they’re taking a moment to give a speech to show how proud they are of their child’s graduation.

Toasts tend to be formal, emotional speeches that end with a “cheers”. Cheers come after the toast, making them different since one is a long speech, the other is the end of the speech that gives the others permission to start drinking and celebrating.

A toast is very honorable, which is why parents will give toasts to their children when they graduate, and why co-workers will give toasts to each other when they get promoted.

For example, here are a few places you’d see someone give a toast:

A graduation party, a wedding reception, a promotion party, and a bachelor party.

What Cheers Is

Although “cheers” is a drinking toast, it is not synonymous with a toast. They’re two different types of toasts despite what it sounds like. “Cheers” is a casual, fun expression you’ll hear when you’re out drinking. You’ll clink your glasses together, then say “cheers”.

Think of it like this: a “toast” is the speech given to someone to honor them, and the “cheers” is the second, casual toast to initiate the drinking process. The “cheers” saying combined with the clinking glasses is believed to please all five senses people have, therefore improving the drinking experience.

For example, here are a few places you’d see someone say “cheers”:

A bar or pub, a restaurant when the table is drinking, a wedding reception, and a casual party.