Bless You

Bless You

Someone may have said this to you after you sneezed. Sometimes you won’t even know who said it. Why is saying bless you so common? Good question. We’re here to answer it, sort of.

bless you sneezes

Origins of Bless You

Bless you has many origins. The first is the belief that it will save you from certain death when Europe was hit by the plague. The expression may also have originated from superstition: a sneeze might expel the spirit from the body. By saying “bless you” or “God bless you”, it will prevent this from happening. Some ancient cultures believed that sneezing forced evil spirits from the body. Therefore, the person who sneezed and those around them will be protected.

There was also a period where sneezes allowed the devil to steal the person’s soul. Another spooky one was evil spirits used a sneeze to rush into the body.

The devil, demons, and death are apparently closely associated with sneezes. There was another thought where people died for a brief moment and the saying encouraged the heart to beat again.

Looks like sneezes are quite deadly. Or, it may be just a way for people to acknowledge your sneeze. We’ll take that one over the demons and death.

Sneeze Responses

Ever wondered how other cultures respond to sneezes?

German – “Gesundheit”

Hindu – “Live” and responds “With you”

Zulu – “I am now blessed”

Greeks and Romans – “Banish the Omen”

Interesting Facts About Sneezes

Never thought there would be interesting facts to learn about sneezes, right? Well, here are six facts about sneezes that you might have never known (and are probably useless.)

Sneezes can’t be stopped when they start. They’re an automatic reflex.

The sneeze spray can scatter up to five feet and travel at a speed of 100 miles per hour.

You can’t sneeze when you’re asleep. This is because the nerve reflex is also resting.

The nerve endings in your face are irritated if you sneeze when plucking your eyebrows. This will fire an impulse that reaches the nasal nerve.

The longest continuous sneeze was for 978 days by Donna Griffiths from Worcestershire, England.

Jokes aside, holding in sneezes can be dangerous. So, better just let it out when you get the chance.

Learn English Phrases Everyday [audio]

1. Add insult to injury 
The phrase “add insult to injury” is a common English idiom. It means to make a bad situation worse. This phrase is usually used as part of a sentence.
Here are three example sentences for your reference.
“They told me I didn’t have enough experience, and to add insult to injury, they hired my friend who had similar qualifications as me. “
“First, he missed his bus, and to add insult to injury, it started pouring. “
“Only five people came to his party, and to add insult to injury, some left before it was over.”

2. Once in a blue moon
Another English phrase is “once in a blue moon.” It is often used as part of a sentence. This phrase is used as another way to say rarely.
Here are three example sentences for your reference.
“She gets drunk once in a blue moon.”
“A chance like this comes once in a blue moon!”
“You find a rare item like this once in a blue moon.”

Learn English Phrases Everyday [audio]

1. A blessing in disguise
The phrase “a blessing in disguise” is a common English idiom. It means a good thing that appeared bad at first. In other words, it is used to describe something good that you initially thought was bad.
Here are three example sentences for your reference.
“Losing that job was a blessing in disguise. It made me pursue my dream of being an entrepreneur.”
“Dropping that class was a blessing in disguise. He ended up taking another class which helped in boosting his overall GPA.”
“Her injury was a blessing in disguise, for she got some much-needed rest.”

2. It’s not rocket science
Another English phrase is “it’s not rocket science.” It is often used as a standalone. In other words, you do not necessarily use it as part of a sentence. This phrase is used to say that the task at hand is not complicated.
Here are three example sentences for your reference.
“You simply file the paperwork. It’s not rocket science.”
“Changing the oil in your car is easy. Don’t worry, it’s not rocket science.”
“While fixing my broken garage door is not rocket science, I’m still having trouble with it.”

Learn English Phrases Everyday [audio]

1. Foot in the door
The phrase “foot in the door” is used in a figurative sense. It is used to describe a way in where progress will be made later. Here are three example sentences for your reference.
“You could take on an easier job to get your foot in the door.”
“I didn’t have the qualifications for the job I wanted, so I took this one to get my foot in the door.”
“New graduates are always looking to get their foot in the door with large companies.”

2. A wolf in sheep’s clothing
Another English phrase is “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” It is used to describe someone with immoral or malicious intentions disguised by kindness. In other words, it is used as cautionary advice to describe someone who necessarily cannot be trusted. Here are three example sentences for your reference.
“He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
“In the end, she was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
“He was trusted until they realized that he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”