scottish birthday toast

Here’s to a long life and a merry one,
A quick death and an easy one,
A pretty girl and an honest one,
A cold pint – and another one!Here’s to us, and those like us. May we never forget what it’s like to be true Scots!

Origins of the Scottish Birthday Toast

The origins of the Scottish birthday toast are rooted in the country’s long history and culture. Scotland has a strong tradition of celebrating birthdays, and it is believed that the tradition of toasting with a glass of whisky began in the early 1800s. The traditional Scottish birthday toast is “Sláinte mhath” which means ‘Good Health’ in Gaelic. This phrase is said while raising a glass and looking into the eyes of those you are toasting with. This tradition is believed to have originated as a way to wish good health and luck on someone’s special day.

The phrase ‘Slainte mhath’ is derived from two Gaelic words – ‘slainte’ which means health, and ‘mhath’ which means good. The phrase itself is believed to have been used as a greeting among friends since at least the 12th century! It was originally used as an expression of goodwill, but over time it has become associated with birthdays and special occasions.

Today, it is still common for Scots to raise their glass when offering this traditional birthday toast. The gesture symbolizes respect for one another and celebrates the joyous occasion. It is also customary to offer a gift or token along with this toast, such as whisky or other spirits, flowers, or chocolates.

No matter how you choose to celebrate your special day, including raising your glass for this traditional Scottish Birthday Toast can add an extra layer of meaning to your celebration!

Variations of the Scottish Birthday Toast

The traditional Scottish Birthday Toast is “Lang may yer lum reek!” which basically means, “May your chimney smoke for a long time,” but there are many other variations to this saying. A popular one is “May the roof above us never fall in,” which is a way of expressing good luck and longevity. Another version is “May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.” This implies that not only should one have a long life, but also an enjoyable one.

Other variations of the toast include “May you have the strength of ten when times are hard,” which means to have resilience in difficult times, and “I wish ye health, wealth, and happiness” which is a wish for good health, financial success, and joy. Additionally, there’s the phrase “Here’s tae us — wha’s like us? Damn few — an’ they’re a’ deid!” This phrase is essentially bragging about how unique and special one’s group of friends or family is.

Finally, there are several variations on the traditional toast wishing someone a long life: “May ye hae mony braw bricht days,” meaning may you have many great days ahead; “Here’s tae yer lang years o’ life an’ guid health,” wishing someone a long life full of good health; and finally, the more humorous version: “Here’s tae ye—may ye ne’er dee!” which basically translates to “Cheers to you—may you never die!”

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No matter what version of the Scottish Birthday Toast is used, it remains an expression of good wishes for those celebrating their birthday or other special occasion.

The Meaning Behind the Scottish Birthday Toast

When it comes to birthday toasts, one of the most iconic and meaningful toasts comes from Scotland. The traditional Scottish birthday toast is “Lang may yer lum reek,” which translates to “May your chimney always smoke.” The phrase originally began as a wish for prosperity and good luck. In days gone by, a house with smoke coming out of the chimney was seen as a sign of wealth and success. So when someone offered this toast, they were wishing that the recipient would always have good fortune.

Today, when people offer this toast, they are still wishing good luck and prosperity on the person celebrating their birthday. However, it has also come to mean something more than just material prosperity. It now stands for a long and happy life – one where you never want for anything. It is also seen as a way of appreciating all that someone has achieved in their life up until that point.

The Scottish birthday toast has become so popular that many people outside Scotland use it when celebrating birthdays with friends and family. Even if you don’t have any ties to Scotland, you can still appreciate the sentiment behind this special phrase and use it to honor your loved ones on their special day.

This phrase has survived through centuries because of its timeless message – that we should all be grateful for what we have in life and wish our loved ones only good things in the future. So next time you are raising a glass to celebrate someone’s birthday, why not give them the traditional Scottish Birthday Toast?

Popular Ways to Say a Scottish Birthday Toast

Raising a glass to express one’s best wishes for someone’s birthday is a long-standing tradition. In Scotland, the practice of toasting on birthdays has been around for centuries. The Scots have a few traditional ways of expressing their happiness for the occasion, including raising a dram of Scotch whisky and offering a few choice words. Here are some of the most popular ways to say a Scottish birthday toast.

The simplest way to show your appreciation for someone’s special day is with the phrase “Slàinte mhath,” which means “good health” in Gaelic. It is customary to make eye contact and raise your glass when you say this toast, as it is considered more sincere that way. Other common phrases include: “May you have many more!”; “A guid birlinn tae ye!” (meaning “good luck” in Gaelic); or “Cheers tae ye!”

The Scots also like to use proverbs in their birthday toasts, such as: “Grow old along with me!/ The best is yet to be”; or “Better days are coming!”. Another popular proverb is: “Here’s tae us!/ Wha’s like us?/ Damn few!/ And they’re aw deid!” This phrase celebrates how unique each person is and encourages them to enjoy life and make the most out of every opportunity.

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When giving a Scottish birthday toast, it’s important not only to raise your glass but also be creative with your words. Whether you choose an old proverb or come up with your own unique phrase, make sure it expresses the warmth of your wishes for the special day!

Tips for Delivering a Scottish Birthday Toast

Delivering a special toast to celebrate a birthday is an honored tradition in Scotland, and can be done in many ways. To ensure your toast is memorable, here are some tips for delivering a Scottish birthday toast:

Start by raising your glass. Before you begin your toast, it’s important to raise your glass and express your appreciation for the person you’re celebrating. This gesture is especially meaningful in Scotland, where toasting someone is seen as an act of loyalty and respect.

Focus on the recipient. Keep your toast focused on the person you are celebrating by emphasizing their unique qualities and accomplishments. It’s also important to include heartfelt compliments that express how much they mean to you.

Maintain a lighthearted tone. As with any celebratory toast, it’s important to keep the tone lighthearted and upbeat so that everyone can enjoy the moment. You want to make sure everyone feels included and has fun during the occasion.

Express good wishes for the future. While expressing gratitude for their past achievements, it’s also important to include wishes or hopes for their future endeavors. You can talk about how they will continue to grow and achieve even more success in life.

End with a traditional Scottish phrase or blessing. To make your birthday toast truly special, end it with a traditional Scottish phrase or blessing such as “slàinte mhath” (“good health”) or “ceud mìle fàilte” (“a hundred thousand welcomes”). This will add an extra layer of meaning and significance to your toast and give it an authentic touch of Scotland.

Celebrating Birthdays with a Scottish-Themed Party

Throwing a birthday party is always a great way to celebrate your special day. If you are looking to add some excitement and create lasting memories, why not host a Scottish-themed party? There are plenty of ways to add an authentic Scottish twist to your birthday celebration. Here are some ideas for making your Scottish-themed birthday party one that will be remembered for years to come.

Start by decorating the venue with traditional Scottish touches. Hang tartan banners, flags, and garlands around the room. Play traditional Celtic music in the background and light some candles for atmosphere. Be sure to serve traditional Scottish dishes like haggis, neeps, and tatties or classic fish and chips with malt vinegar.

When it comes to drinks, whisky is a must! Offer up whisky cocktails like Rob Roys or whisky sours for guests over 21. For those who don’t drink alcohol, there are plenty of options like cranberry juice or ginger beer. And be sure to have plenty of Irn-Bru on hand!

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No Scottish-themed party would be complete without some fun activities! Have guests participate in bagpipe lessons or play traditional games like “The Caber Toss” where participants throw a large log as far as they can in order to compete for prizes. You can also find local Highland dancers and have them perform at the party for entertainment purposes.

Finally, give out favors that commemorate the special day! Send guests home with tartan scarves or mugs featuring a memorable quote from Robert Burns or an image of the iconic Loch Ness Monster. Whatever you choose, your favors will be something guests can cherish for years to come as fond memories of your Scottish-themed birthday party!


When planning a Scottish-themed party, food should be one of the main focuses. Traditional Scottish dishes such as haggis, neeps and tatties, Cullen skink, Scotch broth and shortbread are all great options to serve. For a more modern twist on traditional recipes, consider serving dishes such as haggis bon bons or whisky marinated steak. Of course, no party would be complete without a selection of whisky and ales for guests to enjoy!


No Scottish-themed party would be complete without traditional music. Set the tone with bagpipes playing at the beginning of the event and consider hiring a live band to perform traditional folk songs throughout the night. You could also create a playlist of classic Scottish songs for guests to enjoy.


Decorations should reflect the traditional culture of Scotland. Consider using tartan fabrics as tablecloths or hangings on walls. Hang flags or banners with Saltire designs around the room and scatter thistles and heather across tables and other surfaces. You could also include some more modern decorations such as Scotland-shaped balloons or mini kilt-clad figurines.


Include activities that will give guests an insight into Scotland’s culture and history. Consider setting up a quiz about Scotland’s past or providing books about famous Scots for guests to read. If you have enough space, set up a game of golf or have an outdoor ceilidh dance in your garden – it’ll get everyone up on their feet!


The traditional Scottish birthday toast is a great way to show love and appreciation for a special day. It is a unique way to celebrate the life of someone close to you, and it can be shared with friends and family. This special toast is sure to bring happiness and joy to any celebration.

At its core, the Scottish birthday toast celebrates the life of someone special and brings people together for a moment of reflection. It’s an important reminder of the bond between friends and family, and it gives us all the opportunity to express our true feelings through words. By embracing this tradition, we can create memories that will last a lifetime.

So next time you’re celebrating someone’s special day, don’t forget to share this wonderful Scottish Birthday Toast. It’s a great way to show your love for them in a meaningful way!

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