A neat little post I came across this morning, from the Detritus of Empire blog. Go read it all, but here’s a taste:
There are, or were, specific toasts for each day of the week. As related to me by a couple of Royal Navy Lieutenants* at a pub some years back:Sunday: “Absent friends, absent friends.”Monday: “Our ships at sea.”Tuesday: “Our men.”Wednesday: “Ourselves, as no one else is likely to bother.” Alternate version: “Ourselves, Our Swords, Old Ships” Old ships being a reference to shipmates.Thursday: “A bloody war or a sickly season.” (The death of more senior officers was the most reliable route to promotion in the age of sail).Friday: “A willing foe and sea room.”Saturday: “To our wives and sweethearts.” This is the only toast said to still be in common use, as is the customary response from the youngest officer present “May they never meet!”*In the Navy the rank is pronounced much as it would be in America. Lieutenant derives from the French phrase en lieu tenant, or holding a place for another. The British army uses the variant “Leff-tenant” for perverse reasons known only to themselves.
Cross-posted at Medary.com.