why do people say bless you sneeze

Many people have become accustomed to saying bless you or gesundheit when someone sneezes. No one says anything when someone coughs, blows their nose or burps, so why do sneezes get special treatment? What do those phrases actually mean, anyway? Wishing someone well after they sneeze probably originated thousands of years ago. The Romans would say Jupiter preserve you or Salve, which meant good health to you, and the Greeks would wish each other long life. The phrase God bless you is attributed to
Pope Gregory the Great, who uttered it in the sixth century during a bubonic epidemic (sneezing is an obvious symptom of one form of the plague). The exchangeable term gesundheit comes from Germany, and it literally means health.

The idea is that a sneeze typically precedes illness. It entered the English language in the early part of the 20th century, brought to the United States by German-speaking immigrants. Virtually every country around the globe has its own way of wishing sneezers well. People in Arabic countries say, Alhamdulillah, which means, praise be to God. Hindus say, Live! or Live well! Some countries have special sneezing responses for children. In Russia, after children are given the traditional response, bud zdorov ( be healthy ), they are also told rosti bolshoi ( grow big ). When a child sneezes in China, he or she will hear bai sui, which means, may you live 100 years. В For the most part, the various sneeze responses originated from ancient superstitions.

Some people believed that a sneeze causes the soul to escape the body through the nose. Saying bless you would stop the devil from claiming the person's freed soul. Others believed the opposite: that evil spirits use the sneeze as an opportunity to enter a person's body. There was also the misconception that the momentarily stops during a sneeze (it doesn't), and that saying bless you was a way of welcoming the person back to life. We now know that sneezing is a reflex action and is most often the sign of something relatively benign, such as a or. A sneeze also can be provoked by being outside in the or from a strong odor. Still, we persist in the custom of saying bless you or gesundheit, mainly out of habit and common courtesy.

For more information on sneezing and related topics, check out the next page. The confusion and mild hurt you feel when no one says bless you when you sneeze makes you realise that this response has become second nature. It s just polite, isn t it? Or is it? Come to think of it, does anyone actually know why we bless a person s sneeze? Did you know? Disney once planned a prequel to Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs In all honesty: No. Nobody has been able to determine exactly why we bless a sneeze, or where the blessing first originated from. But, there are lots of theories. One common belief is thatP God bless you was a phrase uttered by Pope Gregory the Great during a bubonic plague epidemic that took place in the sixth century.

As sneezing was one of the symptoms of the plague, it was a way to wish good health on someone. Another theory is that it stick with us blessing someone would protect them from sneezing their soul out through their nose. Really. In the days before a sneeze was known to be a reflex action, a symptom of a cold or an allergic reaction, the phrase was used simply because of superstition with peoplePwith people believing that a sneeze causes the soul to escape the body through the nose. Apparently, saying bless you would stop the devil from claiming a sneezing person s soul. Some believed the opposite though, believing that evil spirits use a sneeze as a way to enter the body.

For others, the soul had nothing to do with a sneeze. Another old belief was that the heart momentarily stopped during a sneeze, and bless you was used to ensure the return of the heartbeat or to even congratulate someone on not dying during their sneeze. Some were actually grateful for the sneeze seeing it as a blessing from the person sneezing. Saying bless you was just a way to greet someone who had sneezed in your direction. Nowadays, however, though wePstill insist on blessing every sneezing person under the sun, there s no real reason behind it. It simply feels mandatory. Well, we are British, after all. MORE: MORE: