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Non-Road Boards => Off-Topic => Topic started by: hbelkins on May 11, 2021, 08:44:33 PM

Title: "Bless You"
Post by: hbelkins on May 11, 2021, 08:44:33 PM
Did anyone else grow up in a family where they did NOT say "bless you" after someone sneezes?

My family didn't make a habit of saying "bless you" after a sneeze. My wife's family,however, did. A quarter-century later, it's still one of the hardest adjustments for me to get used to having to say "bless you," or hearing it said, after a sneeze. Plus, when someone blesses you after a sneeze, it's responded to by "thank you."

So if my wife sneezes, I feel compelled to say "bless you," and then she will say, "thank you." Or if I sneeze and she blesses me, I feel obligated to thank her.

I understand the superstition behind it -- people believed that a sneeze forcibly expelled your soul from your body and saying "bless you" returned your soul to you -- but I'm not superstitious in the least. I've called it "stupid-stitious" for years because I just never got being superstitious or ritualistic about things like throwing salt over your shoulder if you spill some, entering from the same door you leave from, not walking under ladders, and so on.

Anyone else not superstitious in general, or not accustomed to saying "bless you" after a sneeze?
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Max Rockatansky on May 11, 2021, 08:53:47 PM
I ask my wife if she is “okay” to get her riled up when she sneezes.  She greatly prefers I say “bless you.”

My Mom would occasionally use it growing up but never my Dad. 
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Roadgeekteen on May 11, 2021, 09:11:53 PM
Everyone I know says that.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Rothman on May 11, 2021, 09:25:54 PM
Nope.  Didn't say it.  Don't say it now.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on May 11, 2021, 09:32:15 PM
Mom's family doesn't (which I followed), dad's family does.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Ned Weasel on May 12, 2021, 05:44:56 AM
On my dad's side of the family, it was usually "Gesundheit."
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: SectorZ on May 12, 2021, 06:28:45 AM
I'm not superstitious or religious, yet I say "bless you" to anyone who sneezes.

It's more cultural tradition than anything.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: qguy on May 12, 2021, 06:42:17 AM
We didn't/don't say "bless you." At the risk of splitting hairs, the members of the family in which I grew up, and my own family today, all say "God bless you."
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: JoePCool14 on May 12, 2021, 08:10:36 AM
I've always said "bless you", though some of the people I spend time with say "God bless you" because I hang around quite a few religious people. I've never understood the significance of it, just seems like cultural tradition at this point. I should ask them one day.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Takumi on May 12, 2021, 10:03:26 AM
I had a college professor who would absolutely lose it if someone said “bless you” in his class.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: jayhawkco on May 12, 2021, 10:14:23 AM
I've always said "bless you", though some of the people I spend time with say "God bless you" because I hang around quite a few religious people. I've never understood the significance of it, just seems like cultural tradition at this point. I should ask them one day.

If you want to go old school, it comes from the times of the plague where if you sneezed, people assumed you might get sick and die and so they said "God bless you" to hope to have your soul saved.  I have always said "bless you" more out of habit than anything else. 

Chris
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: kphoger on May 12, 2021, 10:29:57 AM
On my dad's side of the family, it was usually "Gesundheit."

That's what I grew up with.  My paternal grandfather could speak a sort of pig-German, being a second-generation German American, and Gesundheit is about the only thing that made it all the way into my growing-up years.

I had a college professor who would absolutely lose it if someone said “bless you” in his class.

That sounds like a person who seriously needs to get a grip.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: frankenroad on May 12, 2021, 10:58:32 AM
In our family, it was always "Gesundheit".   Now, I tend to say "Bless You" when someone sneezes (as my co-worker did about 15 minutes ago).
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: GaryV on May 12, 2021, 10:58:40 AM
My family never did.  I don't think we ever did with our kids.

But for some reason my wife has picked it up in the last 10 or 20 years.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Mr_Northside on May 12, 2021, 01:06:52 PM
I don't really bother saying it when someone else sneezes, as I think it's a dumb custom..... however if someone says it to me when I sneeze, I'll give them a thank you or some acknowledgement.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: SSOWorld on May 12, 2021, 01:13:47 PM
Need a mop?
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: kphoger on May 12, 2021, 01:14:23 PM
I don't really bother saying it when someone else sneezes, as I think it's a dumb custom.....

Do you also not bother saying "excuse me" when you sneeze?  Because that's just as dumb a custom.  But I do it anyway.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: 74/171FAN on May 12, 2021, 01:19:47 PM
In our family, it was always "Gesundheit".   Now, I tend to say "Bless You" when someone sneezes (as my co-worker did about 15 minutes ago).

It was also "Gesundheit" in my German class back in high school (for obvious reasons).
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Ned Weasel on May 12, 2021, 01:22:24 PM
Do you also not bother saying "excuse me" when you sneeze?  Because that's just as dumb a custom.  But I do it anyway.

I do that, because I feel like sneezing is kind of loud and gross, especially when I do it.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: SSOWorld on May 12, 2021, 01:25:20 PM
I don't really bother saying it when someone else sneezes, as I think it's a dumb custom.....

Do you also not bother saying "excuse me" when you sneeze?  Because that's just as dumb a custom.  But I do it anyway.
Do you say "excuse me" when you belch? or fart?
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Mr_Northside on May 12, 2021, 01:36:31 PM
I don't really bother saying it when someone else sneezes, as I think it's a dumb custom.....

Do you also not bother saying "excuse me" when you sneeze?  Because that's just as dumb a custom.  But I do it anyway.
Do you say "excuse me" when you belch? or fart?

Kind of depends on the social situation (and if I think I can "get away with it).
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: kphoger on May 12, 2021, 02:10:53 PM
—  *fart*  Excuse me.
—  What for?
—  Oh.  Uhhhhhhhh...  Nothing?
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: kphoger on May 12, 2021, 02:11:51 PM
I used to say 'Bless you' when people coughed.  I didn't know till about age 20 (or later) that it was only for sneezes.  Such complicated rules of social etiquette...
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Scott5114 on May 12, 2021, 04:20:16 PM
My mom tends to follow up "bless you" with "double bless you" and "triple bless you" if you keep sneezing. I think when I was really small I got a quadruple-bless-you and was very curious what she was going to say on the fifth one because I didn't know the word that comes after quadruple. But of course, I stopped sneezing at that point, and I guess I didn't just ask her what came next.

Neither me or my wife are religious, so we don't say "bless you" to a sneeze. Most often we don't acknowledge it at all, other than perhaps an "are you all right?" on a multiple-sneeze occurrence.

At my wife's old workplace, there was an instance once where someone was on the phone and another person was in the midst of one of those loud multiple-sneeze occurrences, so the guy on the phone turned and said exasperatedly, "Shut the fuck up!" Everyone else in the office thought this was hilarious, so it became their go-to response when someone sneezed, rather than "bless you".
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: kphoger on May 12, 2021, 04:26:18 PM
Neither me or my wife are religious, so we don't say "bless you" to a sneeze. Most often we don't acknowledge it at all, other than perhaps an "are you all right?" on a multiple-sneeze occurrence.

Well, I am religious, but I've never thought of saying 'Bless you' after a sneeze to be an actual religious benediction.  I guess, to me, religiosity and saying 'Bless you' after a sneeze don't really correlate.

My mom tends to follow up "bless you" with "double bless you" and "triple bless you" if you keep sneezing. I think when I was really small I got a quadruple-bless-you and was very curious what she was going to say on the fifth one because I didn't know the word that comes after quadruple. But of course, I stopped sneezing at that point, and I guess I didn't just ask her what came next.

[...]

At my wife's old workplace, there was an instance once where someone was on the phone and another person was in the midst of one of those loud multiple-sneeze occurrences, so the guy on the phone turned and said exasperatedly, "Shut the fuck up!" Everyone else in the office thought this was hilarious, so it became their go-to response when someone sneezed, rather than "bless you".

My dad has loud sneezes, and he nearly always sneezes in triplicate.  So, if there's conversation going on at the time, you may as well just stop till after the third one.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: triplemultiplex on May 12, 2021, 04:37:55 PM
One of my friends says "Bless You" if you cut a fart.
Very funny.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: texaskdog on May 12, 2021, 04:40:17 PM
One of my friends says "Bless You" if you cut a fart.
Very funny.

Why do we say bless you when someone sneezes but we get disgusted when someone farts?  Really sneezes are more disgusting.  We should indeed start blessing farts.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: texaskdog on May 12, 2021, 04:40:51 PM
My mom tends to follow up "bless you" with "double bless you" and "triple bless you" if you keep sneezing. I think when I was really small I got a quadruple-bless-you and was very curious what she was going to say on the fifth one because I didn't know the word that comes after quadruple. But of course, I stopped sneezing at that point, and I guess I didn't just ask her what came next.

Neither me or my wife are religious, so we don't say "bless you" to a sneeze. Most often we don't acknowledge it at all, other than perhaps an "are you all right?" on a multiple-sneeze occurrence.

At my wife's old workplace, there was an instance once where someone was on the phone and another person was in the midst of one of those loud multiple-sneeze occurrences, so the guy on the phone turned and said exasperatedly, "Shut the fuck up!" Everyone else in the office thought this was hilarious, so it became their go-to response when someone sneezed, rather than "bless you".

for the win!
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: kphoger on May 12, 2021, 04:41:42 PM
Why do we say bless you when someone sneezes but we get disgusted when someone farts?  Really sneezes are more disgusting.  We should indeed start blessing farts.

I'm imagining a local priest deciding to bless people's farts one day each year.  And a line of gassy people waiting in line to be blessed.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: texaskdog on May 12, 2021, 04:49:03 PM
I had a college professor who would absolutely lose it if someone said “bless you” in his class.

Mr Nakasone didn't tolerate yawning.  We all got good at yawn suppression.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Rothman on May 12, 2021, 05:16:00 PM
Salud, dinero, amor.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: 74/171FAN on May 12, 2021, 05:25:38 PM
Quote
My mom tends to follow up "bless you" with "double bless you" and "triple bless you" if you keep sneezing. I think when I was really small I got a quadruple-bless-you and was very curious what she was going to say on the fifth one because I didn't know the word that comes after quadruple. But of course, I stopped sneezing at that point, and I guess I didn't just ask her what came next.

I say "double Gesundheit" because well German.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: texaskdog on May 12, 2021, 05:29:22 PM
Why do we say bless you when someone sneezes but we get disgusted when someone farts?  Really sneezes are more disgusting.  We should indeed start blessing farts.

I'm imagining a local priest deciding to bless people's farts one day each year.  And a line of gassy people waiting in line to be blessed.

I think it's that perception that sneezes can't be helped.  But try and hold in a fart once.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Takumi on May 12, 2021, 05:30:50 PM
Neither me or my wife are religious, so we don't say "bless you" to a sneeze. Most often we don't acknowledge it at all, other than perhaps an "are you all right?" on a multiple-sneeze occurrence.

Well, I am religious, but I've never thought of saying 'Bless you' after a sneeze to be an actual religious benediction.  I guess, to me, religiosity and saying 'Bless you' after a sneeze don't really correlate.

Same. In high school one of my classmates was an atheist and he would always say “bless you” after someone sneezed because he thought it was polite.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Scott5114 on May 12, 2021, 06:36:37 PM
Neither me or my wife are religious, so we don't say "bless you" to a sneeze. Most often we don't acknowledge it at all, other than perhaps an "are you all right?" on a multiple-sneeze occurrence.

Well, I am religious, but I've never thought of saying 'Bless you' after a sneeze to be an actual religious benediction.  I guess, to me, religiosity and saying 'Bless you' after a sneeze don't really correlate.

I don't imagine most religious people do, or at least don't intend for it to be an actual direct request for their deity to intervene. We just kind of had a conversation one day about how unusual saying the phrase "bless you" was when the person both saying and receiving it don't believe there to be a rational being with the ability to issue a blessing to begin with.  We kind of searched around for a suitable secular substitute, and, finding none, just kind of stopped the practice.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: hbelkins on May 12, 2021, 07:13:21 PM
One of my friends says "Bless You" if you cut a fart.
Very funny.

Why do we say bless you when someone sneezes but we get disgusted when someone farts?  Really sneezes are more disgusting.  We should indeed start blessing farts.

Sneezes typically don't have a terrible smell associated with them. On the other hand, you never know if flatulence is going to be odorless or if it's going to set off pollution control warnings.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: webny99 on May 12, 2021, 07:44:12 PM
Neither me or my wife are religious, so we don't say "bless you" to a sneeze. Most often we don't acknowledge it at all, other than perhaps an "are you all right?" on a multiple-sneeze occurrence.

Well, I am religious, but I've never thought of saying 'Bless you' after a sneeze to be an actual religious benediction.  I guess, to me, religiosity and saying 'Bless you' after a sneeze don't really correlate.

I don't imagine most religious people do, or at least don't intend for it to be an actual direct request for their deity to intervene. ...

To me, it's not so much a matter of religiosity as it is a lack of connectivity between a sneeze and the need for a blessing in the first place.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Scott5114 on May 12, 2021, 07:48:37 PM
Neither me or my wife are religious, so we don't say "bless you" to a sneeze. Most often we don't acknowledge it at all, other than perhaps an "are you all right?" on a multiple-sneeze occurrence.

Well, I am religious, but I've never thought of saying 'Bless you' after a sneeze to be an actual religious benediction.  I guess, to me, religiosity and saying 'Bless you' after a sneeze don't really correlate.

I don't imagine most religious people do, or at least don't intend for it to be an actual direct request for their deity to intervene. ...

To me, it's not so much a matter of religiosity as it is a lack of connectivity between a sneeze and the need for a blessing in the first place.

The story I heard was that the practice arose during the Plague in Europe, when someone sneezing may have been ill with it, and if they were, death was likely. So saying "bless you" was a hope that they would avoid death, or that if they died that whatever post-death experience they got to have would be pleasant.

By rough analogy, it's like if you heard someone with a dry cough in spring 2020 and said "Hope you can find a ventilator" or something like that.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: webny99 on May 12, 2021, 10:00:37 PM
Dang, that sounds grim. I'll try not to think about that next time I sneeze. (Read: that will be all I think about while sneezing from now on!)
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: adventurernumber1 on May 13, 2021, 01:50:54 AM
This is one of those things of which I was never aware of the source of how it originated (until now), and thus had never really thought about it. I am not superstitious in the least, so this was always just of cultural habit.

Now that I think about it, I hardly ever say "bless you," but if someone says it to me I'll always reply "thank you." But I hardly ever say "excuse me" either, not as a matter of rudeness, but it just comes natural to me to not bring attention to the minor myriad bodily occurrences. Having acid reflux, if I said "excuse me" after every time I belched, it would probably get pretty tiresome pretty quickly (both for me and the people having to hear it). I just let it pass, quietly if possible, and don't dwell on it.

Interestingly, "Gesundheit" is actually the only word I know in German, probably since it is so common to hear after sneezes.


I had a college professor who would absolutely lose it if someone said “bless you” in his class.

Mr Nakasone didn't tolerate yawning.  We all got good at yawn suppression.

I would not fare well in that class.  :-D

Not only am I not good at yawn suppression, but yawns are most often not indicative of whether I'm bored or disengaged - instead, I'm likely just fatigued or sleepy. And with that being very common, I end up yawning quite frequently.  :paranoid:

Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Duke87 on May 13, 2021, 02:12:26 AM
Growing up my parents tried really hard to teach me it was polite if someone sneezed to say "god bless you" (all three of those words!). I was always extremely resistant to the idea since it seemed stupid and pointless, and would straight up yell at people for saying it to me.

Eventually as a young adult I begrudgingly got into the habit, usually of saying "gesundheit" in order to avoid any religious implication, in order to try to act normal for the sake of career development and dating.

But now that I'm happily married and in a stable career position, I don't really feel like expending effort trying to pretend I'm normal anymore. So I'm back to mostly just ignoring people when they sneeze, or perhaps if they sneeze repeatedly saying something like "hey knock it off".
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: 74/171FAN on May 13, 2021, 06:14:22 AM
Quote
But now that I'm happily married and in a stable career position, I don't really feel like expending effort trying to pretend I'm normal anymore. So I'm back to mostly just ignoring people when they sneeze, or perhaps if they sneeze repeatedly saying something like "hey knock it off".

As someone that deals with allergies, I have no issue with being ignored.  I try to have napkins, tissues, or paper towels near me at all times because I expect myself to sneeze (or at least blow my nose) almost daily.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: kphoger on May 13, 2021, 09:57:39 AM
 :hmmm:
We kind of searched around for a suitable secular substitute

ventilator

Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: kphoger on May 13, 2021, 09:58:39 AM
But try and hold in a fart once.

I can't do it.  But my wife can.  Sometimes it "goes back in" and doesn't come out till much later.  I think that's her superpower.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: jmacswimmer on May 13, 2021, 10:21:58 AM
But try and hold in a fart once.

I can't do it.  But my wife can.  Sometimes it "goes back in" and doesn't come out till much later.  I think that's her superpower.

In the rarest of circumstances where farting would be *extremely* frowned upon socially, I will make the effort to hold one in.  But most of the time I agree with Shrek's thought process: "Better out than in!"

Peter Griffin, however, is quite good at it:
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Takumi on May 13, 2021, 02:48:36 PM
:hmmm:
We kind of searched around for a suitable secular substitute

ventilator



Really, “gesundheit” or “salud” would work since they mean “health”.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Roadgeekteen on May 13, 2021, 02:53:54 PM
Does anyone ever hear bless you for coughing?
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Scott5114 on May 13, 2021, 02:57:56 PM
:hmmm:
We kind of searched around for a suitable secular substitute

ventilator

We had the discussion like five years before covid existed. There was a time before covid, as unlikely as it may seem now. :spin:

Really, “gesundheit” or “salud” would work since they mean “health”.

See, we didn't know that at the time (I don't think "salud" came up at all). Now we've just kind of gotten used to not saying anything, though.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: kphoger on May 14, 2021, 12:02:53 PM
Does anyone ever hear bless you for coughing?

↓    ↓    ↓    ↓    ↓

I used to say 'Bless you' when people coughed.  I didn't know till about age 20 (or later) that it was only for sneezes.  Such complicated rules of social etiquette...
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: kphoger on May 14, 2021, 12:05:45 PM

 :hmmm:
We kind of searched around for a suitable secular substitute

ventilator


We had the discussion like five years before covid existed. There was a time before covid, as unlikely as it may seem now. :spin:

Well, yes, I assumed so.  I just meant that maybe your search is over.  You've found your secular substitute.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: webny99 on May 14, 2021, 12:56:35 PM
Interestingly, "Gesundheit" is actually the only word I know in German, probably since it is so common to hear after sneezes.

I used to have a teacher that said "Gesundheit", and I came to really like it. It sounds like an expression you'd use when you're surprised or scared, almost like "goodness gracious". So it seems more like poking fun than wishing blessing, which is arguably preferable anyways with your friends and family.  :biggrin:
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: texaskdog on May 17, 2021, 09:06:44 AM
Interestingly, "Gesundheit" is actually the only word I know in German, probably since it is so common to hear after sneezes.

I used to have a teacher that said "Gesundheit", and I came to really like it. It sounds like an expression you'd use when you're surprised or scared, almost like "goodness gracious". So it seems more like poking fun than wishing blessing, which is arguably preferable anyways with your friends and family.  :biggrin:

It sounds like something someone would yell at you when they were mad.
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: kphoger on May 18, 2021, 04:04:25 PM
It sounds like something someone would yell at you when they were mad.

That's just because it's German.

I knew a guy from Poland who described the German language as being like "barking through a sheet".
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: Scott5114 on May 18, 2021, 04:14:55 PM
I seem to remember reading somewhere that in the 19th century, German was culturally seen as a beautiful, poetic language. Stuff was perceived to just sound better in German.

During the mid-20th century, that perception got attached to French, and German was seen as a harsh, angry-sounding language. Can't imagine what happened in the 20th century to cause that shift in perception...
Title: Re: "Bless You"
Post by: GaryV on May 19, 2021, 10:03:51 AM
"German is a guttural language.  Dutch is a throat disease."