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¡Salud! The different ways to say cheers in Spanish

You may be familiar with the basic way Spaniards say ‘cheers’, but there are other Spanish expressions and habits associated with clinking glasses and making a toast that you’ll be happy to learn.

say cheers spanish
Spaniards have their own set of quirky traditions and expressions when it comes to making a toast. Photo: Cristina Quicler/AFP

Life in Spain comes with plenty of get-togethers and celebrations, and although alcoholic excesses are not generally part of the Spanish culture, booze will be a part of almost all social occurrences.

If you’re a foreigner who’s made Spain their new home, it’s therefore important to familiarise yourself with the language and idiosyncrasies that are part of such occasions.

Let’s start with the word for a toast, in the sense of honouring someone or something with a drink.

The noun for this is un brindis, which apparently originally comes from the German ‘bring dirs’, meaning ‘bring thee’ (as in, I’ll ‘bring thee’ a drink, a speech, etc.). There’s also the verb brindar, which means to toast.

So if you want to give a toast in Spanish, you should start off by saying me gustaría proponer un brindis por… or me gustaría brindar por… (I’d like to make a toast for) and once you’ve finished your speech you should raise your glass and for example say ¡Por los novios! (for the newlyweds) or ¡Por Juan! (for Juan!).

When it comes to clinking the glasses, Spaniards will often use the interjection chinchín, an onomatopoeia which pays heed to the sound, but it’s really the same as saying cheers.

The most common word used in Spanish to say cheers is ¡Salud!, which means ‘health’, in the same way as the French say santé and the Germans gesondheid. Spaniards may also direct their toast specifically at the person they’re drinking with by saying ¡A tu salud! (To your health!). 

You may be happy to learn that Spaniards don’t take the custom of looking into the other person’s eyes while clinking glasses or drinking quite so seriously as in other European countries, where the failure to do so carries the penalty of seven years of bad sex (ouch!).

A quick glance at the person you’re cheering with will go down well, however, as direct eye contact is the standard in social situations in Spain.

READ ALSO: Why does the birthday person pay for everyone’s food and drinks in Spain?

What is considered to bring bad luck in the bedroom is toasting with a non-alcoholic drink in Spain, so consider yourself warned.

Catalans have an interesting version of the Spanish cheers – ¡salut i força al canut! – which translates to ‘Cheers and strength to the purse’ in order to wish health and wealth, although some people wrongly assume it’s meant to wish people good virility.

While we’re on the subject, there is a very common cheering expression used in Spanish to do with rumpy pumpy.

After cheering, whether by raising a glass or clicking glasses, many Spaniards will then take their glass and quickly place it down on the table before lifting it again to take a swig.

Bemused foreigners will then be reminded that el que no apoya, no folla, ‘the one who doesn’t place it (the glass) down, doesn’t have sex’.

Does it make it any sense? Nope, but it does get a few laughs, and before long you’ll find yourself quickly tapping the base of your drink against the table through force of habit.

Another interesting habit that foreigners in Spain tend to find amusing is when a group of friends in a circle move their glasses in four different directions whilst saying ¡Arriba, abajo, al centro y para dentro!, which means ‘up, down, to the centre and inside’, the latter being when you drink.

So there you have it, ¡Salud a todos! (Cheers to everyone!)


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How people’s jobs can determine who they vote for in Spain

As Spain is set to start six months of election fever, sociological research has revealed that people's profession can determine who they are most likely to vote for in Spain, and there are some surprising results.

How people's jobs can determine who they vote for in Spain

The latest barometer from Spain’s Public Research Institute (CIS) has shown that there are jobs in Spain that make you more or less likely to vote for a particular political party, and given an interesting (if not slightly surprising) sense of the political climate ahead of regional elections in May and a general election by the end of the year.

GUIDE: Elections in Spain in 2023

Often the CIS polling analyses Spanish voting intention along more familiar demographic lines: age, gender, location, religion, to name just a few.

Another very interesting and revealing one is people’s jobs and the effect it has on their voting intention.

Though far from a perfect study (the methodology doesn’t differentiate between levels of workers within a sector, for example, and can use quite vague descriptors) it nonetheless provides a useful broad strokes picture of the political landscape as we advance into this bumper political year.

So, what did the CIS find, and which professions are more likely to vote for which party?

Who is loyal to the two-party system?

Of the two main political parties that have dominated Spanish politics since the end of the Franco dictatorship, there are clear splits.

Support for the Socialists (PSOE), the incumbent party of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, scored on average 22 percent support among respondents, and scored best not among workers, but among retirees and pensioners, from whom they received 30.4 percent, as well as people who are ‘economically inactive’ (30.2 percent), unpaid domestic workers (23.6 percent) and the unemployed (23.4 percent).

PSOE was supported by 59.7 percent by voters over 64 years of age. The main opposition party, Partido Popular (PP) also polled fairly well with older voters, on 45.4 percent. PP has a greater impact with voters between the ages of 35 and 64, with support of 63.4 percent compared to PSOE’s 58 percent.

PP, which on average had 19.9 percent support, surpassed PSOE among directors and managers (32 percent), administrative support personnel (26.8 percent) as well as farmers, agricultural, forestry and fishing workers (24.1 percent).

Popular Party (PP) leader and presidential candidate Alberto Núñez Feijóo (C) has the vote of many company managers as well as people in the fishing and agricultural industry. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP)


Who are militant Vox supporters?

The CIS data also showed that there is only one professional category for which the two-party system is broken and neither PSOE nor PP leads: in the military and police force, of which a whopping 38.5 percent say they would vote for far-right party Vox if there were general elections tomorrow.

The far-right party, led by Santiago Abascal, also far exceeded its average support (which was 8.4 percent) among farmers and other primary sector occupations (21.4 percent), as well as among students (13 percent), and Spaniards working in management positions (12.6 percent).

Perhaps most interestingly, since the last general election, held in November 2019, the average age of voters backing Vox has decreased. In fact, according to CIS findings it is set to be the party that will benefit the most from the new cohort of voters voting for the first time in an election. Vox would, if an election were held today, impact on 20.1 percent of those ‘new’ voters; a figure that, when translated into votes, would be almost 360,000 young people.

Vox utilities a very effective social media campaign to appeal to young voters, and has around treble the numbers of followers that PP and PSOE do on Instagram.

Leader of the far-right party Vox Santiago Abascal has a lot of support in the military, the police force and young people who haven’t voted before. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)

Who supports Spain’s far left?

This was also the first barometer since deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Díaz formally launched her Sumar platform, something that has been dividing the parties to the left of Sánchez’s PSOE.


Sumar scored an average of 8.4 percent, and Podemos, the junior coalition partner in government, 5.1 percent. Both far-left parties ahead their highest levels of support among professionals, scientists and intellectuals (13.5 percent for Sumar and 9 percent for Podemos), as well as with students (7.1 percent and 7.4 percent respectively).

It remains to be seen if the two leftist factions will find an agreement and unite the electoral bases before the general election.

Spanish Minister of Labour Yolanda Díaz (C) is Spain’s most popular politician, opinion polls have shown. (Photo by Thomas COEX / AFP)

Which parties do Spain’s workers not like?

It is also interesting to consider where each party polls worst compared to its average data.

PSOE does worst with the military and police (8.7 percent).

For the PP, the worst figure is that of machine operators and factory workers assemblers (10 percent), while Vox polled just 2.4 support among domestic workers.

Who do Spaniards want as Prime Minister?

CIS also asked respondents which party leader they would prefer as Prime Minister. The results roughly mirror the partisan support figures, with some subtle differences. Pedro Sánchez is the most popular overall (21.3 percent average), and his support among retirees and pensioners stands out (30.2 percent). Alberto Núñez Feijóo, leader of PP, is the preferred candidate of 14.6 percent overall, and among the managerial class 28.1 percent.

But the leaders at the political extremes seem to have the most loyal support among specific groups in Spain. Vox’s Santiago Abascal is the favourite leader among a single group of voters, that of the police and military (27.8 percent support, compared to just 5.8 percent on average), and the second most popular among a specific section of the electorate was Yolanda Díaz, the favourite of professionals, scientists and intellectuals (22.3 percent, with an overall average of 13.2 percent).