Can We Actually Bring These Toasting Puns Back?

g1327246262239310722While researching toasting etiquette I came upon a book called The Perfect Gentleman, Or, Etiquette and Eloquence: A Book of Information and Instruction … Containing Model Speeches for All Occasions … 500 Toasts and Sentiments for Everybody … to which are Added, the Duties of Chairmen of Public Meetings. Apparently they didn’t have editors in 1880, but in it is contained what might possibly be my favorite list to ever be listed: toast puns.

In a chapter titled “Toast-Master’s Companion,” the author argues “there is nothing in which men more conspicuously show their wit or their want of it than in giving toasts at public dinners.” But of course, showcasing one’s wit can be daunting, so the book offers toasts for various occasions. Patriotic toasts (“America: The birthplace of liberty and the asylum for the oppressed of every land”), Military Toasts (“An Army to stand, but not a Standing Army”) and toasts to drinking in general (“Old wine and young women”). But none of these are more glorious than the list of “Toasts for All Professions,” which is just a slew of puns about various jobs.

  • The Surgeon—A man who bleeds for his countrymen.
  • The Glazier— Who constantly takes pains (panes) that other people may see clearly.
  • The Baker— May he never be done so much as to make him crusty.
  • The Printer— May his form be well locked up in the arms of a charming wife. May he never know what it is to want a quoin.
  • The Tinker— A devout man whose life is spent in a pilgrimage, to mend the mistakes and repair the wastes which other people have made.
  • The Fireman— The sentinel of our homes may he burn only with ardor to protect the property and life of the city. May the flames of dissention never find fuel in his heart.
  • The Fire Department— the army that draws water in stead of blood and thanks instead of tears.
  • The Carpenter— May he have a warm house and good boarding.
  • The Actor— A bumper every night.
  • The Plumber— Though his business is to furnish mankind with the dumb blessings of light and water, may he be a good spouter and easily turn his lead into gold.
  • The Blacksmith— In every speculation may he always hit the nail on the head.
  • The Banker— May he always draw upon content for the deficiency of fortune
  • The Road maker— A highwayman who deserves well of his country.
  • A Card maker— May he often turn up trumps.
  • A Goal Merchant — May his customers ever be grate full.
  • An Auctioneer— By knocking down may he ever rise in the world.
  • The Distiller— May he never be out of spirits.
  • The Coach maker—May all his wheels be those of fortune.
  • The Painter— May he have a good pallet and plenty to gratify his taste.
  • Every Man’s Wife— May the lightning of her eye never cause him to be afraid of thunder.
  • The Saddler— May he sit upon a soft cushion and never have the misdeeds of others saddled upon him.
  • The Book keeper— May he faithfully keep his books and may his books keep him.

All italics original and perfect. Remember these for the next time you dine with the Card Maker in your life.


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