12 Old Toasts for Modern Occasions


Library of Congress

Unless you're the best man or maid of honor at a wedding, you never know when you’re going to be asked to give a toast. Good thing that there are plenty of old books to reference for ideas. Here are 12 toasts for a variety of occasions.

1. A Wedding

"Here’s to the bride and mother-in-law,
Here’s to the groom and father-in-law,
Here’s to the sister and brother-in-law,
Here’s to friends and friends-in-law,
May none of them need an attorney-at-law!"

— Toasts You Ought to Know, 1908

2. A Graduation Party

"Hail to the graduating girl;
She’s sweeter, far, than some;
For while she speaks she talks no slang
And chews no chewing gum."

— Toasts for All Occasions, 1903

3. A Guy’s Night

"Here’s to Man: He is like a kerosene lamp: he is not over bright; he is often turned down; he generally smokes, and he frequently goes out at night."

— A Book of Toasts, 1906

4. A Bachelor Party

"Here’s to a long life and a happy one,
A quick death and a happy one,
A good girl and a pretty one,
A cold bottle and another one."

— Toasts for All Occasions, 1903

5. An Engagement Party

"Here’s to love, the only fire against which there is no insurance."

— A Book of Toasts, 1906

6. A House Warming Party

"Home: The place where you are treated best and grumble most."

— Toasts and after-dinner speeches; containing presentation, after dinner, political, legislative and speech-making in general, including hundreds of toasts and sentiments, 1903

7. For Any Occasion that involves alcohol

"Drink to-day and drink all sorrow;
You shall perhaps not do ‘t to-morrow;
Best while you have it, use your breath;
There is no drinking after death."

— Toasts for All Occasions, 1903

8. Toasts for when you’re stuck at a party with people you don’t like

"May he who is an ass, and takes himself to be a deer, find out his mistake when he comes to leap a ditch."

— The Perfect Gentleman, 1860

9. A Mother’s Day Brunch

"Here’s to the happiest years of my life,
Spent in the arms of another man’s wife:
My mother!"

— A Book of Toasts, 1906

10. A Going Away to Pittsburgh Party

"To a man going to Pittsburg:
Here’s to Pittsburg, and may it suit you
As it has sooted me!"

— A Book of Toasts, 1906

11. Upon receiving a box of cigars

"Divine in hookas, glorious in pipe,
When tipped with amber, mellow, rich and ripe;
Like other charmers, wooing the caress
Most dazzlingly when daring in full dress;
Yet thy true lovers more admire by far
Thy naked beauties—Give me a cigar."

— Toasts You Ought to Know, 1908

12. When trying to be a jerk

"Here’s to man—he can afford anything he can get. Here’s to women—she can afford anything that she can get a man to get for her."

— The Loving Cup; original toasts by original folks, 1909