Sneezing (more often referred to as sternutation), verb. Definition: When one gobs all over the place.
What in the name of cripes is sneezing all about? Most people have a pretty distinctive sneeze. You can determine the people you know by the way they sneeze: whether they cover their mouth, the evil ones who don’t, how loud they are, and whether stuff comes flying out of their face when they do it.
“Achoo!” tends to be the accepted method for typing what a sneeze noise is (onomatopoeia at work), but we disagree. It’s more a sort of, “HUSSSSCHUUURGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”, replete with drooling, dribbling, and an expression of general dismay. How does the world react to these unusual moments, then?
Polite Sneeze Responses
We did some bloody good research, sir, to find out! We came up with a list of arbitrary examples from countries around the world. The results are pretty terrifying, so perhaps consider adding the phrases to your repertoire. It’ll liven up those sneezing occasions, such as when you inhale a bag of ground black pepper. Achoo, indeed!
お大事に – Take care of yourself.
Shëndet – Health!
առողջություն (aroghjootyoon) – Health!
Gesundheit! (or Gazuntite) – Health!
England (we’re experts on this one!)
Sneezing in England’s a bit different than the rest of the world due to the nationalistic habit of panicking insanely. Thusly there’s usually some sort of national emergency whenever someone like The Queen gets a sniffle. Yes, we really are pathetic winkers. The following are common phrases here:
Would you like me to call you an ambulance? (asked in a refined, highly patronising accent)
PANIC! RUN! HE/SHE HAS THE PLAGUE!
Strap him/her to the floor, get the hazmat suits out, and call a state of emergency!!
Egészségedre! – To your health!
Terveydeksi – For health!
à tes / vos souhaits – To your wishes!
Dia linn – God be with us
Salute! – Health!
Sto lat! – Live a hundred years!
Conclusion: Sneezing on Languages
Sneezing on one’s language is not only liable to spread illness and disease, but also to denigrate other languages and cultures by getting stuff everywhere. Despite the disgusting nature of sneezing, it’s clear the nations of the world view the sneeze as an opportunity to remind individuals they’re not going to die: “Health!” etc.
What surprised us (but should not have) is many responses have some sort of religious undertone. Now we’re not religious here at Professional Moron, so to us it seems a bit weird to praise a deity after you get snot everywhere. We prefer the ones promoting “Health!” after a hearty sneeze, and we particularly like “Gesundheit!” from (exonym ahoy!) Deutschland and “Sto lat!” from Poland.
Being British, however, we’ll stick to the good old fashioned option of calling the ambulance, and booking the week off work. It’s the British way. Stiff upper lip!