Famous Irish drinking toast Sláinte explained
Sláinte is the most used Irish expression in America, our reader survey discovered. Sláinte [SLAHN-chə], or "Good Health" in English, is an Irish expression that derives from the Old Irish word slán, meaning "healthy" or "safe".
It can be used in different contexts. For example, when downing a pint of Guinness you say "Sláinte" before you begin to drink.
There are many other expressions that use sláinte, such as "Is fearr an tsláinte ná na táinte" (English: "Health is better than wealth").
Another expression is "Go dte tú slán" (English: "May you go safely"), which is what you say when someone is leaving on a journey.
"Sláinte na bhfear" (English: "Good health to the men") is another derivative, used when drinking in the company of men.
"Sláinte na mbean" is the opposite - for when drinking with women!
Slán itself has other meanings besides "healthy" and "safe" in Gaelic. It can mean "farewell" when used as a noun and "goodbye" - as an interjection.
"Slán go deo" means "goodbye for ever".
* Originally published in 2013.