We hear it a lot these days, and I want to use it, I really do, but it just doesn’t feel like a natural thing to say. Just when I am about to use it, little thoughts pop into my mind. What if I don’t say it in the right context? What if my American accent just ruins the moment? So I did a little research. When I say little, I mean little, like Google search kind of little. After a quick search, I was able to gain some insight into this cheery expression.

Definitions; 1). a friendly expression said just before you drink: Cheers! To good health. 2) UK informal used to mean “thank you”: “I’ve bought you a drink.” “Cheers, mate.” *note: do NOT say this if you are not British, you will will get made fun of. 3) UK informal used to mean “goodbye”: “Bye.” “Cheers, see you next week.” Where it gets confusing is when you hear someone use ‘cheers’ and ‘thank you’ or ‘cheers’ and ‘goodbye’ in the same sentence. Then, what you thought you knew about the word just becomes more perplexing and the contexts are quickly blurred.

For now, we are truly enjoying this linguistic immersion and study of Scottish English. There are so many phrases, words and euphemisms that differ from American English. Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we are embarrassed. Example, a couple of weeks ago I went out with my colleagues to celebrate the end of a week. A girl from our group walked into the pub, and in a slightly louder-than-average volume I remarked, “Cute pants!” A few people looked at me wide-eyed, and my other colleague said, “Oh dear. Trousers. Say trousers. You just told her you like her underwear.”

Life is full of learning moments and they catch you off guard sometimes. Living abroad provides lots of these opportunities.

Before we moved we prayed for our life here. We prayed for community, for friends, for a smooth transition and for the ability to “do” life here. Prayers for open minds to soak up the culture, to share life, to meet new people and be open to the differences that might come about.

So with that, I will pretend we are at a table in our favorite neighborhood pub, the St. Vincent, and propose a toast; May we all be a little more open-minded, able to learn from one another, to laugh a little more and to not take ourselves too seriously. May we live well with one another, be kind to each other and enjoy our days together. Cheers!