Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Sneezing & Etiquette

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Question
Hello:

If a person sneezes and someone says "bless you", is it appropriate for the person who sneezed to say thank you?

I thank you for your reply.

Answer
Thank you for your question.

The Greeks and Romans took sneezing as a sign of wellness and expressed their good wishes to the person who sneezed using the phrase 'live long,' or 'May Jupiter bless you,'" according to a Turkish scientific review.  In the 14th century Pope Gregory VII asked that 'God Bless You,' become "a short prayer to be said after every sneeze to protect against the plague. The German word "Gesundheit," which means "health".


I have never been aware of an obligation on the part of the sneezer to say, "Thank you" to the person saying, "Bless you."  After all, just because you say something to someone does not mean it is incumbent upon them to respond to something they did not ask you to say in the first place.

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Constance Hoffman

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As a professional etiquette coach and trainer, I am able to assist with any and all of your questions pertaining to social and business skills, party manner, appearance, communication both verbal and written, tipping, email manners and social media, and of course entertaining and dining etiquette.

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As owner of Social and Business Graces, I have been teaching children and adults for over 15 years.

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Owner of Social and Business Graces

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Owner, teacher, coach and author of "Tips on Tipping".

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