New Year’s Word Origins

Auld lang syne is a phrase that literally means "old long since" or "old long ago" and became famous in Robert Burns's 1788 song:

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

The germ phrase has been traced back to an anonymous ballad in the Bannatyne Manuscript of 1568, "Auld Kyndnes foryett."

Champagne is the name of a province in eastern France and the varieties of still or sparkling wine made from the grapes there. As defined by French law, only sparkling wine from Champagne can be called "champagne." It must be fermented in the bottle and varies from brut, the driest, to sweeter doux champagnes. Champagne is sometimes called "the wine of love."

Resolution is from the Latin resolutio, resolution- from resolvere meaning "to loosen or dissolve again," (re- + solvere) which was the original meaning of resolve. The meaning "to determine or decide upon a course of action, etc." was first used in English around 1523.

The practice of drinking a toast started in the 17th century with the naming of a lady at a banquet to whose health the others present were requested to drink. Pieces of spiced toast were once placed in wine and the idea of this practice was that the lady's name flavored the drink as pieces of spiced toast once would have.

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