How would you like to see 2018 end? Is there anything you want to do to end the old year? Here's a toast to that, and as we approach the new year, I want to share with you why we actually call it a "toast."

You'll be surprised to know that the term toasting wasn't about raising and clinking your drinks together. Toasting your friends involved actual toast, as in crispy bread!

People have been drinking to each other's health since time immemorial but the term "toast" came from the days when vats of wine or beer were garnished on top with slices of toasted bread. Sometimes the wine or beer would be warmed and mixing toast with alcohol became supper. In fact, the word supper comes from sopping the toast and eating it.

Joan of Arc toasted with sopping, and the politician and philosopher Francis Bacon observed sops in warm wine was a fine supper. One of the few reminders of sopping we have left today is the toasted bread on top of French Onion soup.

Do you remember Falstaff Beer? Well, Shakespeare's heavy-drinking character Falstaff called for a "toast." But he really wanted toasted bread along with his fortified wine or beer.

Eventually, "toast" began referring to just drinking rather than food, and contrary to today's #MeToo movement, beautiful women were often the focus of men's toasts to where she could even become the "toast of the town."

So for New Year's Eve, here's a "toast" to each of you for everything that's important to you in the year ahead.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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