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Cheers is an esoteric programming language aimed at beverage-oriented programming.

Partially inspired by INTERCAL and Chef.


A Cheers program consists of a list of statements. The following statements are recognized:

  • beverage preparation,
  • pour and spill statements,
  • cheers and sip statement,
  • ask for statement,
  • throw up statement,
  • binge ... end loop,
  • mumble statement.

The language is case-insensitive and statements can be delimited with any of , . ; ? ! \n. For example, the following two are equivalent:

    pour 200 ml of water
Binge! Pour 200 ml of water, cheers!

The language syntax uses <name>s, <volume>s and <percentage>s. Names are sequences of case-insensitive ASCII letters and dashes (-). Volumes are floating-point literals followed by ml unit. Percentages are floating-point literals in the range 0-96, followed by a % sign.


The prepare statement declares and initializes a new beverage object. There are several alternative uses of this keyword:

  • prepare drink <name> <percentage> — creates a new drink with a given name and sets its strength to <percentage>, e.g. prepare drink wine 12%.
  • prepare soft drink <name> — alias for prepare drink <name> 0%.
  • prepare <name> syrup — creates a new syrup with a given name; all syrups have 0% strength and reside in a separate namespace (so e.g. wine refers to a drink and wine syrup refers to a syrup.
  • prepare water — prepares some water; because water is a global object and is accessible from the beginning, prepare water is a documented NOP.
  • prepare drink <name> as <compound statement> end — creates a new drink with a content described by the compound statement; the compound statement must contain at least one pour statement.

An example of a preparation with a compound statement:

prepare drink U-Boot as
    prepare drink Vodka 40%
    pour 40 ml of Vodka
    prepare drink Beer 5%
    pour slowly 200 ml of Beer

pour and spill

The pour and spill are statements used for operations on an implicit container, so-called “working glass”.

Pouring adds a quantity to the working glass:

  • pour fast <volume> of <name> — adds a quantity of a beverage to the working glass and, if it is not empty, mixes it with its contents; the strength of the new beverage is a weighted average of the strengths of the components (e.g. 90 ml of a 10% drink and 10 ml of water combine to 100 ml of a 9% drink).
  • pour slowly <volume> of <name> — similar to the one above, except the contents are not mixed, but “layered” (think of it as of adding new elements to the container).
  • pour <volume> of <name> — computes to pour slowly ... for syrups and pour fast ... for other beverages.

Spilling removes a quantity from the working glass:

  • spill <volume> — removes a quantity of beverage from the working glass; if the quantity is greater that the contents, the glass becomes empty; if the contents are layered, first a quantity of the last element is removed, then the second-to-last, and so on, until the given amount of spill is reached.

The working glass has a maximum capacity of 500 ml, any operation that would result in an overflow causes an implicit spill of the superfluous quantity, for example:

pour 100 ml of juice
pour fast 200 ml of water
pour slowly 100 ml of juice
pour slowly 200 ml of water

will result of 100 ml of water being spilled. (The final state of the working glass will be: 300 ml of juice-water, 100 ml of juice and 100 ml of water.

pour fast 0 ml of water can be used as an idiom for mixing contents of the working glass.

If inside of a prepare compound statement, the contents of the working glass are then returned as the prepared drink.

cheers and sip

The cheers and sip statements are used for consuming the contents of the working glass.

  • cheers — consumes all the contents of the working glass; the global intoxication counter is incremented by combined strength × volume (e.g. consuming 40 ml of 40% vodka will increment the counter by 16) and the glass becomes empty.
  • sip <volume> — works similarly to spill, except the contents are not spilled, but consumed as with cheers.

Please note that layered contents don't get mixed while drinking, but are consumed last element first.

ask for

The ask for statement is used for text input.

  • ask for a drink — reads a sequence of n identical characters c from the standard input, creates a beverage of n% strength and pours ord(c) ml into the working glass (e.g. a sequence bbb adds 98 ml of a 3% beverage).

throw up

The throw up statement is used for text output.

  • throw up — outputs all the already consumed beverages, the last one consumed first, by transforming the strength into the length and the volume into the code of a character (e.g. 100 ml of 5% beverage is transformed into ddddd, i.e. five characters of code 100).

This statement has a side effect of zeroing the intoxication counter.

No corresponding catch is supported.


The binge statement is used for constructing loops.

  • binge <compound-statement> end — constructs a loop and computes the inner statements while the intoxication counter is less than 200.

For example:

    prepare drink beer 5%
    pour 200 ml of beer

Above, the loop will be executed 20 times (the counter starting at 0 and incremented by 5% × 200 = 10).


The mumble statement is used for writing comments. All the input till the end of the statement (any of , . ; ? ! \n) is discarded.


Infinite loop

The following program will never terminate:

    pour water


The following program reads the input and repeats it to the output:

    ask for a drink
    throw up


The following program reads the input and outputs it in reverse:

    ask for a drink
throw up ; mumble  --  note the difference

Hello world

The following program outputs "Hello world!".

prepare drink Hennchata 1%
prepare drink El-Presidente 1%
prepare drink Double-Lorraine 2%
prepare drink Old-Spanish 1%
prepare drink White-Lady 1%
prepare drink Whiskey-Sour 1%
prepare drink Rossini 1%
prepare drink Lorraine 1%
prepare drink Daiquiri 1%
prepare drink Wow 1%

pour 33 ml of Wow
pour 100 ml of Daiquiri
pour 108 ml of Lorraine
pour 114 ml of Rossini
pour 111 ml of Old-Spanish
pour 119 ml of Whiskey-Sour

pour 32 ml of White-Lady
pour 111 ml of Old-Spanish
pour 108 ml of Double-Lorraine
pour 101 ml of El-Presidente
pour 72 ml of Hennchata

throw up

External resources