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Sneezing and 'bless you'?

Society expects someone to answer a sneeze with some form of "bless you"; what is your reaction to someone sneezing?

"I acknowledge the irritation in your nasal mucosa"?

By Firewalk4
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I've switched to saying bless you when someone farts.

PolyWolf Level 7 Oct 9, 2018

I've successfully switched to Gesundheit.

PolyWolf Level 7 Oct 8, 2018

You slimed me!


Still say bless you, one of those things that become engrained in your speech.

I still say "Jesus Christ" when I do something dumb as well. Probably never stop

brownH50 Level 6 Oct 9, 2018

I don't see the term 'bless you' as religious because I believe blessings occur and are nonsectarian in nature. I, therefore, don't see the offense. Besides, most people don't know that they are blessing me from evil spirits and who am I to disclose their superstition or paranoia, eh? They are just regurgitating something they have been taught is polite, like you say.


Bless you. It is habit, and l am fine with that. I am blessing them. I am not asking God to bless them.

Sticks48 Level 9 Oct 9, 2018

Sometimes I won't say anything
Sometimes I will say "Bless you"
Sometimes I will attempt to perform an Exorcism, screaming "Demon begone!!!"
It really just depends on the situation...

jondspen Level 7 Oct 9, 2018

@Firewalk This would in fact be more accurate! Indeed!


I usually go with gezundheit, proost, salute, or salud: German, Dutch, Italian, or Spanish for "to your (good) health". An option from other languages is prosit: Danish, Swedish, or Norwegian for "may it help"; or будьте здоровы / "bud'te zdorovy": Russian for "be healthy".

As others have suggested, offering them a tissue would be nice.

Otherwise, silence may be best. In Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese cultures, it's quite uncommon to respond at all. The traditional "(god) bless you" after someone sneezes came from the Christian-European folk stigma that the subject was expelling a demon from his/her body, and (s)he should be blessed to prevent it from returning. Wouldn't it be easier to simply let an archaic traditions die than replace them with "the secular options"?


@Firewalk From the Wikipedia article, "Chinese speakers do not typically comment on another person's sneeze. When someone does give a response, he or she might say 百岁 / bǎisuì (live to 100)."

No reference was cited for that note. If you've been to China, I would take your word over the Wiki.


"Bless you" actually originated during the days of the plague. Since sneezing was a sign of infection, "Bless you" was a response acknowledging that the person sneezing would soon be dead. It was seen almost as a curse. Knowing the history of the phrase, there are some people I will say it to.

Generally I stick with, "Gesundheit!"

mcgeo52 Level 7 Oct 9, 2018

I generally get chuckles when I say “god isn’t real” after someone “blesses” me. I treat a sneeze like every other bodily function, I say nothing. It’s your blow out, so it’s on you to say something or not.

jrome043 Level 4 Oct 9, 2018

But what has god got to do with blessings? Isn't that YOUR presumption? I give blessings every day--make it a habit in fact. And, honey, I am no goddess. I'm just another nonsectarian heathen who in another day or time, or in another country, would have long ago been stoned or burned.

@Tunisianamber there’s nothing agnostic about a blessing

@Tunisianamber it’s only the definition of gods favor and prayer...

@jrome043 Respectfully, I disagree.

You disagree. With the dictionary?


I say bless you. Just like with free will and morals, I'm not going to let religion try to absorb it and call it its own.

I always looked at “bless you” as propaganda made up by the church to promote themselves. It’s a successful campaign, as even the anithiest regard it as just manners. I say get rid of it altogether.


I say excuse u. Or something I don't say bless u.


Wow might be a good thing to say. At least you paid them some due. If you start imagining others nearby saying things like "ass chew" or maybe "is your cousin tight" you know it's time to go have your hearing checked. I've even heard fakers come through with the "F" word in sneezing.


When some one says it to me I appreciate the sentiment while ignoring phraseology.
When some one else sneezes I usually say Gesundheit (German for good health)


I've been saying salute...meaning to health...


I don't say anything. I think it's weird that we reply to a sneeze, but not a cough, burp, fart etc. When I sneeze in a way that might be disruptive to others, I say "excuse me". This is my personal mission. I wish to change the world in this small way.

@Firewalk So, it's got pagan superstitious roots actually. I know people are unaware of this and are just trying to polite, but if I know they are evangelists, I for sure tell them. SOOOOOO much of what most people do and say every day has roots in something unexpected. I like disclosing those oddities. You know, to help those of us with our heads still in the sand. I personally like to ask sneezers if they became airborne or broke a rib. Nothing like a sneeze that lifts you off your feet. Am I right?


I still say bless you, I'm just used to saying it

DoubleJ Level 4 Oct 9, 2018

i say "bless you" and then i add "these are my OWN blessings, and i have a limited number, so you only get two. if you sneeze a third time you're on your own." the original practice came from the time of the plague (one of the times of one of the plagues) since sneezing was an early symptom and people got all scared for (and of) you if you snoze.


genessa Level 8 Oct 9, 2018

It’s annoyingly reflexive for me. I still catch myself saying “bless you” but I did make a concentrated effort to stop. I usually say it anyway now because it’s so reflexive. It doesn’t bother me but some people have asked why I chuckle after I say “bless you” and I can’t bring myself to say why.

SpcTrkr91 Level 4 Nov 18, 2018

I don't say bless you anymore. I feel like an ass sometimes because of it but oh well.

Atecc Level 4 Nov 18, 2018

I say bless you. I do Christmas. None of it's real, but a charming social convention nonetheless.


I steal a line from Seinfeld.... I just say, "You are Soooo good looking!"

RiverRick Level 7 Nov 18, 2018

I say, "thank you." I have bigger issues to confront and be concerned about than a "bless you." It is an automatic response with little to no thought behind it.


Still say 'bless you.' I think about it when I do, but I just can't care enough to say something else.

Hell, at work I've replaced 'goddammit' with 'God bless america'. Just works without getting me shamed. ?‍♀️


Or tell them to point that nasty mucous spray away from me, barbarian.

dokala Level 7 Oct 15, 2018

One time I said bless you to my coworker when he sneezed, so he told me who's gonna bless me , you're the atheist ?!!

Shaghaf Level 5 Oct 14, 2018
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