l'chaim

Alternative Spellings

lechaim

Definitions

  • traditional toast. [lit. "to life" (Rosten)]

Example Sentences

  • At a celebration such as a wedding where many toasts are given, it is customary to exclaim "L'chaim" before drinking.

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish, Modern Hebrew

Etymology

Heb לחיים lekhaím, Yiddish לחײם lekháim

Who Uses This

Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

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