Sneezing, the unavoidable prayer

It kinnda bothers me when someone says “bless you” after I sneeze. I never really know how to reply. I don’t really think that I’m in my death throes or any other peril that would need a blessing. Besides even if I were I don’t think I would benefit from it.

When someone else sneeze I am at more of a loss. Sometimes I’ll say “bless you” purely on reflex. Sometimes I just ignore it, but I feel kind of rude doing so.

I’d like to know what you think, please take my poll and feel free to add comments
Poll: Does it bother you when someone says “Bless you” after you sneeze?


4 Responses to “Sneezing, the unavoidable prayer”

  1. I’m an atheist but I don’t mind at all. I read somewhere it comes from the middle ages when people thought a sneeze was an evil spirit trying to enter the body. When I hear “bless you” it kinda makes me smile, makes me think of all those silly superstitutions we’ve overcome and now inhabit very small corners of our life. Sure, there are still a lot of silly superstitutions hanging around (“Take this bread it is my body”, etc) but I do think we’re getting there.

  2. I tried not to let it bother me for the longest time, but it does make me noodgy now when people say it to me. And I trained myself to say “gesundheit” to others – because it’s rude to say nothing, and it’s already an acceptable godless alternative.

  3. In Italian we say “Salute!”, which means “Health!”. Perfectly secular, and surely more effective then a blessing. If you’re in the right mood, you may even answer “not much” (I know, it’s not funny…)

  4. Bart Mitchell Says:

    In Spanish, Salut is used also, but the Mexicans I work with use the term “Sancho!” which translates loosely as “the guy who sleeps with your wife while your at work”

    I definitely prefer Sancho over bless you.

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