Wednesday Wit and Hatch

Knock Knock!
Whoโ€™s there?
Hatch.
Hatch who?
Bless you and please cover your mouth next time!

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Ever wonder why people say Bless you or Gesundheit after you sneeze?
No?
Well I’m going to tell you anyway, please keep reading
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Wishing someone well after they sneeze probably originated thousands of years ago. The Romans would say “Jupiter preserve you” or “Salve,” which meant “good health to you,” and the Greeks would wish each other “long life.” The phrase “God bless you” is attributed to Pope Gregory the Great, who uttered it in the sixth century during a bubonic plague epidemic (sneezing is an obvious symptom of one form of the plague).

Virtually every country around the globe has its own way of wishing sneezersย well. People in Arabic countries say, “Alhamdulillah,” which means, “praise be to God.” Hindus say, “Live!” or “Live well!” Some countries have special sneezing responses for children. In Russia, after children are given the traditional response, “bud zdorov” (“be healthy”), they are also told “rostiย bolshoi” (“grow big”). When a child sneezes in China, he or she will hear “bai sui,” which means, “may you live 100 years.”

ยญ For the most part, the various sneeze responses originated from ancient superstitions. Some people believed that a sneeze causes the soul to escape the body through the nose. Saying “bless you” would stop the devil from claiming the person’s freed soul. Others believed the opposite: that evil spirits use the sneeze as an opportunity to enter a person’s body. There was also the misconception that the heart momentarily stops during a sneeze (it doesn’t), and that saying “bless you” was a way of welcoming the person back to life.

Sneezing info brought to you by:

people.howstuffworks.com