Icelandic is one of the more confusing and challenging languages to learn. It’s considered a Germanic language and is closely related to Norwegian. The majority of speakers live in Iceland, but there are quite a few in Denmark and even the United States. When you visit Iceland you may be in a situation where you want to toast old or new friends and need to know the term for cheers. Don’t worry, we have you covered.
Cheers in Icelandic
The proper term is Skál (pronounced “sk owl”) Depending on who you ask there are several meanings for Skál. The first is skull and it’s said vikings used to use the skulls of people they killed to toast and drink mead. Not sure how believable that is, but it does make for a good conversation started. The second meaning is bowl and it’s history dates back to Scotland who honored and encouraged people to finish their drink when honoring someone. The third meaning is shell and has the same history as bowl.
Whichever meaning you want to believe, Skál is still widely used by everyone when toasting during celebration. So lift the glass high and get ready to drink a few alcoholic beverages.