I’ve always been under the impression that „cheers!“ was just a drinking toast but now I’ve learnt that it also means „thank you“ and „goodbye“ in British English. In the TV series Bodyguard they used it all the time in a work environment without having any drinks at hand. How do other native English speakers use the word „cheers“?
This also reminds me of a misconception of non-Russian speakers. It’s often believed that На здоровье (na zdarovje) is used the typical toast in Russian but it doesn’t mean „cheers“ in a toast but „cheers“ as thank you for a meal.
Then you might have heard of „Prost“, the German way of drinking a toast to somebody. Beware when you hear it in the phrase „Prost Mahlzeit!“ That used to mean „Enjoy your meal!“ but the meaning changed and now it’s used sarcastically and means “That’s a fine mess!”
Btw, the Chinese „cheers“ 干杯 (ganbei) actually means “chug it down!” (literally “dry the glass”) and that’s often what’s expected of you when drinking with Chinese.
How do you use the word “cheers” in English and do you know any other interesting insights about phrases for drinking a toast to someone?