Pondering ‘A Toast’ Again

Toasting at Oktoberfest
Image via Wikipedia

I don’t know if this is an unhealthy obsession or what, but over the years, one of the recurring things at rogueclassicism has been on the origin of ‘toasting’, in the sense of raising a glass at some festival/celebration and making some kind words. The usual tale is that there is some connection between the ancient Romans/Greeks or whoever putting a burnt piece of bread (toast!) in their wine to make it taste better. I think we first pondered it on the cusp of 2005/2006 and declared it officially silly on the cusp of 2008/2009.

This year, the story seems to come much in advance of its usual New Year’s Eve context and is somewhat modified … here’s the incipit of the piece that caught my eye:

Since ancient times, from the Greeks to the Romans, glasses of wine had been lifted in either celebration to their gods or to those recently fallen. This raising of the glass evolved through time in celebration of great accomplishments or an oath of loyalty.

Fast forward to 1643. The Middle Temple, who often used cooked bread (or obviously toast) to dip in their wine to improve the flavor, raised their glasses to then-Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia, swearing their allegiance and lives to her. […]

… which I use by way of introduction to reponder the question and see if this takes off (heheheh, he said, rubbing his hands in evil glee between key strokes). The thought occurred to me in one of my pre-caffeinated states one a.m. that what we call ‘a toast’ might actually be a corruption of Latin ‘tuis’ (dative) or ‘ad tuos’ (accusative) which one could imagine being said in some sort of ‘toasting’ context. I’m too lazy to Google it, but it’s probably been suggested already.  Of course, the SMBC cartoon in the previous post most likely applies here …


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