How do I impress a Scottish person

Slàinte mhath is a Scottish toast that means something like "to your health". Because Slàinte means “health” in Gaelic and “mhath” is translated as “good”. The root word slán is related to the German word “seelig” and the Latin “salus” for health. Even today people in France toast with “santé” and in Italy with “salute”.

This is how you pronounce Slàinte mhath

Slàinte mhath is pronounced very differently from how it is written. They say "slaan-dsche-wah ”.

To understand this, here are a few of the Scottish Gaelic pronunciation rules that apply to this toast: Accented vowels are drawn out. The I in "AI" is mute here. "Mh" in mhath becomes "w"And" th "is just called dumbH pronounced.

Since English and Gaelic are different languages, other pronunciation rules also apply. Gaelic words are pronounced and written very differently than they are in English. Fortunately, if you can speak German, Gaelic is usually a little easier to pronounce.

How is Slàinte mhath correctly spelled?

The correct spelling of slainte mhaith is with the accent on the "A" in "slainte". In the Scottish Gaelic the toast "Slàinte mhath" is written. So with an accent de grave on the A. That is why the "A" is also drawn out. But there is the same saying in the other great whiskey nation: Ireland. However, in the better-known Irish Gaeilge, “sláinte” is written with an accent aigu. In addition, the mhath is spelled differently: "mhaith".

In both languages, the mhath or mhaith can also be omitted.

When do you say slàinte mhath?

The next time you want to toast with friends and a good Scottish single malt whiskey, then the right Scottish saying is a good choice. Impress your friends when you can answer the “Slàinte!” With a “do dheagh shlàinte (do-jo-landsche)”. At a scotch whiskey tasting you can of course always score with a hearty "slàinte mhath". Burns Night, where Scots around the world celebrate their national poet with whiskey, poems and typical Scottish dishes, is a big offense. There are also events in Germany on January 25th, Burns Supper Day. Whiskey is the Scottish national drink just as it is the Irish national drink when it is spelled Whiskey (»here you can find Irish whiskey). Therefore, it is also worthwhile to know how to say cheers in Gaelic. But if you ever have whiskey from England like Cotswolds single malt whiskey in your glass, the English counterpart “Cheers!” Would of course be a good idea. No matter what words you toast with at the end, the greatest joy is enjoying whiskey with good friends and whiskey lovers.

If you are interested in learning more about how to pronounce Scottish Gaelic, please see our “How to pronounce whiskey names correctly” page.

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