First  Prev  1  2  3  Next  Last
Why do peolple say 'god bless you' when someone sneezes?
17179 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
(´◔౪◔)✂❤
Offline
Posted 10/22/14
I always thought it was a strange thing. Every time someone says bless you after I sneeze I don't respond. Some people would say thank you, but I don't feel like I owe one just for sneezing. Do most people who say bless you know what bless you even means? Or better yet, why would anyone assume that someone is Christian?

The practice of blessing someone who sneezes, dating as far back as at least 77 AD, however, is far older than most specific explanations can account for. Gregory I became Pope in 590 AD as an outbreak of the bubonic plague was reaching Rome. In hopes of fighting off the disease, he ordered unending prayer and parades of chanters through the streets. At the time, sneezing was thought to be an early symptom of the plague. The blessing ("God bless you!") became a common effort to halt the disease.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_bless_you
612 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / In a dumpster wit...
Offline
Posted 10/22/14
Because they got nothin better to do with their time than think that sneezing is the byproduct of god casting out the devil in you. Not that he doesn't cast him out. Just not in that way.
413 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
21 / F
Offline
Posted 10/22/14
Lala thinks it's because the children imitate their parents and do the same thing for their children and repeat!

Ah-choo!
3710 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
31 / F / Kumamoto, Japan
Offline
Posted 10/22/14

FlyinDumpling wrote:

I always thought it was a strange thing. Every time someone says bless you after I sneeze I don't respond. Some people would say thank you, but I don't feel like I owe one just for sneezing. Do most people who say bless you know what bless you even means? Or better yet, why would anyone assume that someone is Christian?

The practice of blessing someone who sneezes, dating as far back as at least 77 AD, however, is far older than most specific explanations can account for. Gregory I became Pope in 590 AD as an outbreak of the bubonic plague was reaching Rome. In hopes of fighting off the disease, he ordered unending prayer and parades of chanters through the streets. At the time, sneezing was thought to be an early symptom of the plague. The blessing ("God bless you!") became a common effort to halt the disease.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_bless_you


I'm an atheist but, despite the original reason why we say "bless you", it's not always the same reason why we say it now. Yes, in the past it may have had a strong religious context, but in common-place English-speaking countries, it's a nice thing to say when someone sneezes. It's almost engrained within our English-speaking cultures.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responses_to_sneezing

As you can see from that list, there are many responses with ties towards a religion (and even, if you look at part of the said history of the phrase, it looks like it was intended to be directed toward the health of the person who sneezed... but, really, what else would you expect in 77 AD?). Other meanings focus on the health of the person who sneezed. In the modern day world, I don't think that "bless you" is intended as a prayer to God to bless the person who sneezed.

Long story short, if you have an issue with "bless you" you might want to stop using "goodbye/bye" too.
48409 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
23 / M / AZ
Offline
Posted 10/22/14 , edited 10/22/14
I think the phrase is so ingrained in the English language that people don't actually think about the meaning. It's just another word.
18054 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
U.S.
Offline
Posted 10/22/14
It should be "bless me" because I don't want to get your germs and get sick.

It's fun to say "bless you" right before someone is about to sneeze. They'll be like, "ahh. Why did you do that?! Now, I can't sneeze. It feels like it's stuck back there and I can't get it out."
17179 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
(´◔౪◔)✂❤
Offline
Posted 10/22/14

Kerensa wrote:

Long story short, if you have an issue with "bless you" you might want to stop using "goodbye/bye" too.
Snarky

Western countries where English is the main language have a diaspora of people. Whether it's common practice to say bless you is highly subjective and depends on cultural backgrounds. For example, many Chinese people especially from rural areas do not actually tell people "bless you". Like some other Asian people, they find it strange to bring attention to someone for sneezing or coughing.
3710 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
31 / F / Kumamoto, Japan
Offline
Posted 10/22/14 , edited 11/29/14

FlyinDumpling wrote:


Kerensa wrote:

Long story short, if you have an issue with "bless you" you might want to stop using "goodbye/bye" too.
Snarky

Western countries where English is the main language have a diaspora of people. Whether it's common practice to say bless you is highly subjective and depends on cultural backgrounds. For example, many Chinese people especially from rural areas do not actually tell people "bless you". Like some other Asian people, they find it strange to bring attention to someone for sneezing or coughing.


I guess what I was getting at is people who live in an English-speaking country and were raised in an English-speaking home by people who grew up with said English-speaking country's customs and politeness. I live in Japan currently, and there isn't anything to say when people sneeze. Well, there is, but most of the time no one says it. Most people just apologize for sneezing depending on where they are.

Where I come from in the USA, we use "bless you" and "gesundheit" with no real favoritism that I can attest to. The meaning of the phrase can also be placed there not only by the speaker, but also by the listener. Like I said, I'm sure the majority of people who say "bless you" after you sneeze are just trying to be socially polite (as most children, as I said, raised in English-speaking, westernized countries are raised to be polite and say "bless you" and "thank you").

I meant no harm by what I said, but "goodbye" is just as rooted in Christianity (of some sort) as "bless you". I think your argument is on par with women being angry/offended when a man holds a door open for them in attempt to be polite, when in actuality they might have held a door open for anyone regardless of gender. You place your own weight and meaning on the words you hear as well.

Me; I thank people who take the time to say something. Depending on where I am, I may say "excuse me" after a sneeze; mainly because I just unleashed a mist of germs, mucus and dead cells into the surrounding air area. Excuse me! Sorry if you get my cold!
12571 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
30 / F / New Orleans, LA USA
Offline
Posted 10/23/14

FlyinDumpling wrote:

I always thought it was a strange thing. Every time someone says bless you after I sneeze I don't respond. Some people would say thank you, but I don't feel like I owe one just for sneezing. Do most people who say bless you know what bless you even means? Or better yet, why would anyone assume that someone is Christian?


I never knew the history behind the phrase, but the reason I say it is in-tune with it. It's basically the same thing (for me anyway) as praying for someone. When I was young did I say it for this reason? No. But as I got older I considered what I was saying and why and came to that conclusion. As for a response, it doesn't require one. Do I say thank you when someone say bless you to me? Sure. But you didn't ask me to pray for you so I don't expect anything from you for doing it. Also I never assume anyone is Christian even though I am. I can hope for the best for you, no matter what you are.
23469 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M / Iowa >.>
Offline
Posted 10/23/14
no one's ever said that to me, of coarse I've been told I'm going to hell by quite a few people. nothing like having an old lady who you just meet just because I was wearing a Iron Maiden t-shirt
42275 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / New Jersey, USA
Offline
Posted 10/24/14
I always thought it was to keep your soul from escaping.
55107 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
F / West
Offline
Posted 10/24/14
Because sneezes are so loud it wakes up the Devil , so you need a blessing?
18054 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
U.S.
Offline
Posted 10/24/14 , edited 10/30/14
When an atheist sneezes, you should say, "when you die, nothing happens."
7300 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
38 / F / Mississippi
Offline
Posted 10/25/14 , edited 10/25/14
I say "excuse me" when I sneeze, especially when I'm in clinic and I sneeze (I'm telling my patient sorry. I have done this even if I cough).
I say "bless you" when someone sneezes because it's polite, the same with me saying "Thank You".

Now, I heard that the reason one says "bless you" is because when you sneeze, your heart stops for that sneeze. So ppl say this because you "died" or what not during that millisecond.

I don't care for the background as a Christian belief (I'm UU), but I do care about being polite and thoughtful, especially if it's really loud!!
7300 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
38 / F / Mississippi
Offline
Posted 10/25/14

onibrotonel wrote:

When an atheist sneezes, you should say, "when you die, nothing happens."


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! That's great!!
First  Prev  1  2  3  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.