What Does Bottoms Up Mean?

Bottoms Up Meaning

Definition: Drink!

People will say, “bottoms up” to encourage others to drink something. If you are holding a cup full of liquid and lift it to your mouth to drink, you are raising the cup so that the bottom can be seen, thus bringing the bottom up.

Most often, people will say this as a joyful cheer when drinking alcohol. Someone in a group may shout “bottoms up” as the group all takes a shot of liquor.

Somewhat less frequently, people will use this phrase to encourage drinking something unpleasant. If you have medicine that tastes bad but will help you to get better, your doctor may say “bottoms up” as you drink it.

Origin of Bottoms Up!

meaning of bottoms upNobody knows exactly from where the phrase “bottoms up” originates. There is a popular story used to describe its origin, but there is no evidence to show whether or not it is true.

According to the legend, English sailors used to be bribed with coins to join the navy, and, many times, they would be tricked into joining by being given a beer with a coin at the bottom of the glass.

In the story, men began to say “bottoms up” to their drinking partners so that they could see if coins were hidden inside of the glasses before the drinks were finished.

Examples of Bottoms Up!

bottoms up drinking gameYou can expect to hear “bottoms up” at a party. It is more commonly said in large groups of people than alone; you would not say “bottoms up” before having a drink by yourself.

If a round of drinks is ordered, someone will say “bottoms up,” and the whole group of people will sip their drinks at once. This is a rallying cry, or another way of saying, “Let’s have fun!”

More Examples

  • Bottoms up! There is now a new whiskey [stock]. –CNN
  • Bottoms up! Sheldon and Stuart bond over bubbly on The Big Bang Theory. –CBS


Bottoms up! is a common expression said before drinking.