Cheshta D.


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What would you say instead of 'God bless you' when someone sneezes?

Today the phrase 'Bless you' is more of a courteous comment than an actual blessing. Most people don't think twice before letting it slip out of their tongue. But if you're uncomfortable using it and don't want to seem rude, what would you say instead?

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    Jul 25 2012: well, if bird / pig flu really gets out, i will say "ruuuuun"
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    Jul 25 2012: How about, "Thank you for covering your mouth.", or "Cover your mouth please.", whichever is appropriate?
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    Jul 25 2012: I recall the speculation that the blessing was to ward off the evil spirits issuing from the sneezer. I think Gesundheit is better, but agree with's a thing not even worth noting, unless the sneezer is not properly blocking it (the curved-in elbow technique is the best way, supposedly). If someone makes no effort they deserve a dirty look, not some benediction, although admittedly it can come upon one pretty quick sometimes.
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    Jul 25 2012: In our culture you must say what you have written in your question. but if you dont want you can also say.

    Get Well Soon.
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    Jul 25 2012: I will simply smile back. "God bless you" is said simply to convey message that its fine and natural to sneeze so that the person can feel comfortable I hope my smile can do the trick :).
  • Jul 31 2012: As with everything. Deconstruct to the extreme. If you can break everything down to a simple '1' or '0', you can grok many things.

    In this case (we were told), 'God Bless You' is taken from Hoch Deutsch. High German, the original we were told about was 'Gesundeheit'. Or 'Health High'. Or 'Have good health'.

    In ancient times they thought that a demon took over your soul for the duration of the sneeze, and that a 'blessing' from 'god' would be, well, it wouldn't hurt.

    What do 'I' say when someone sneezes? I usually stop focusing on whatever I'm preoccupied with. I look at the person. Say 'Gesundheit'. Then check to be sure they're ok.

    I don't have 5 minutes to spare, I sure do have 5 seconds to 'care'. (Marian Call, Coffee by Numbers, paraphrased).

    Qyv? No idea what would Qyv's response would be.
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    Jul 26 2012: The French have something to say for the second time you've sneezed, and you seldom sneeze only once.
    They say "a tes amours", which I can hardly translate better than "may the sneezing not interfere with the numerous romantic liaisons yet to come".

    It's probably been used ironically the first time to cheer up a grandmother sneezing in her deathbed, but I like it.
  • Jul 25 2012: Salud!
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    Jul 25 2012: Think I read somewhere that this originated with a dreaded disease, Black Death, or something. Sneezing was the first symptom, so a plea to the almighty was a wise precaution.

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      Jul 25 2012: I still say it every time. They can translate it to mean any good wish they choose but they might just percieve that I notice them and care.
    • Jul 28 2012: Apparently "Salud!" (health!) has the same background. Some dreadful disease whose symptoms included sneezing. Anyway, I wonder why we offer no consolation for coughing. Sneezing feels great, and we get lots of salud, god bless you, gesundheit, et cetera. But if we are red out of coughing we get nothing.
  • Jul 25 2012: When we sneeze all functions of our body stop momentarily. It's like a momentary death. In Turkish we say "Çok yaşa." That means "Live too much, too long." Then the one who sneezed answers back: "Hep beraber." This means "All together."
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    Jul 25 2012: There is a German phrase that means literally "to your health". The reason is that your body functions stop at a sneeze or a sexual climax. In France this is know as the little death.

    Is it really necessary to acknowledge ones sneeze. Should we start acknowledging all of the bodily functions and noises.

    All the best. Bob.
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    Jul 25 2012: You could say, "I hope you aren't catching a cold." But you don't have to say anything.