“Here’s Looking At You, Kid” – Meaning & Origin (Casablanca)

Throughout decades of film, we’ve come across many iconic lines from movies that we make references about. Legendary films like ‘Casablanca’ have made their way even to the hearts of the young. But, knowing these lines doesn’t mean we’re sure of what they mean. So, let’s look into that further!

What Does ‘Here’s Looking At You, Kid’ Mean?

‘Here’s looking at you, Kid’ means giving a toast. Though there isn’t a literal drink, it means honoring ‘Kid’ in the sentence. ‘Here’s looking at you’ comes from the fact that the person addressed and the person addressed to are most likely facing each other while speaking.

here's looking at you kid meaning

The form ‘Xing at you’ is commonly used by Americans and is somehow part of the language. An example is ‘here’s hoping,’ which we use to express before a toast or say ‘I hope so.’ In the same way, ‘here’s looking at you, kid’ can be interpreted. We can understand ‘here’s looking at you’ as a way of honoring, loving, and supporting the person one is addressing.

What Is The Origin Of ‘Here’s Looking At You, Kid?’

The form ‘Xing at you’ was used by Americans back in the 1800s. The original toast, ‘here’s hoping,’ has been used since the 1800s. Through evolution, the phrase developed into ‘here’s looking at you.’ Americans have been using this since the 1900s, even way before the movie ‘Casablanca.’

For Americans, the form ‘xing at you’ isn’t odd. Given their culture and personality, they have developed this phrase as part of their writing and speaking styles. We see this a lot, even in older films, articles, and books. Looking at this, ‘Casablanca’ may seem like a little more recent use of the form or phrase.

Earlier Usage of ‘Here’s looking at you, (Kid)’

Here are some quotes and excerpts from earlier films and written works that used the phrase ‘here’s looking at you.’

  • ‘Things Pleasant and Otherwise,’ from Ballou’s Monthly Magazine (1884)
  • Quote: ‘Ah,’ said the colonel,….took the bottle. ‘Here’s looking at you.’
  • ‘The Loving Cup’ by Wilbur Nesbit (1909)
  • Quote: ‘Here’s looking at you…you never lose a Dollar Bill’
  • ‘Editor’s Table’ from the Yale Literary Magazine (1895)
  • Quote: ‘And so…Collegians…here’s looking at you.’

Examples Of How To Use ‘Here’s Looking At You, Kid’ In A Sentence

Below are examples of how to use ‘here’s looking at you, kid’ in a sentence.

  1. I heard you got employed in a new job. Here’s looking at you, kid. You’re truly amazing.
  2. Here’s looking at you, kid. You’ve done great with your craft. I’ve seen you do it, and I believe in your skill.
  3. I heard you’re about to leave town to pursue your dreams. Here’s looking at you, kid.
  4. Here’s looking at you, kid. Go for it and chase the woman of your dreams.
  5. You’ve reached great heights in your career. You’ve worked hard. Here’s looking at you, kid.
  6. Here’s looking at you, kid. You’re going to go out there and defeat them all. I believe in you more than anyone.
  7. I can’t believe you’ve succeeded. You’ve come so far. Here’s looking at you, kid.
  8. Here’s looking at you, kid. I wish you good luck in all your endeavors.
  9. You’re doing great. You should know that better than everyone. Here’s looking at you, kid.
  10. Here’s looking at you, kid. I love you. I know you’ll do great even without me there.

Why Do People Say ‘Here’s Looking At You, Kid’ When You Walk Into A Bar?

If people greet you with ‘here’s looking at you, kid’ when you walk into a bar, you’re probably a doppelganger of Ingrid Bergman. Many ‘Casablanca’ fans use the movie as a reference, especially in the scene where Rick (Humphrey Bogart) says to Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) the quote.

If you don’t look like Ingrid Bergman, maybe others use it simply as a greeting! Casablanca fans may use it simply as a reference, especially in greeting pretty women who come in the bar. It can also be a pick-up toast to you. It can also be a sign of people showing their interest and liking in you. However, you still have the right to how you feel about them saying so. If you’re uncomfortable, feel free to reject them!