Responses to sneezing

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In English-speaking countries, the common verbal response to another person's sneeze is "(God) bless you", or "Gesundheit", the German word for health (and the response to sneezing in German-speaking countries.) There are several proposed bless-you origins for use in the context of sneezing.

In non-English-speaking cultures, words referencing good health or a long life are often used instead of "bless you", though some also use references to God.

List of responses in other languages[edit]

Language Usual Responses and Notes Meaning in English Sneezer Reply and Pronunciation Meaning in English
Albanian Shëndet (shuhn-det) "Health!" Faleminderit or Shëndet paç "Thank you!" and "May you have health," respectively
American Sign Language Bless you (for hearing users; deaf users typically will not respond) "Bless you." N/A N/A
Amharic ይማርሽ (yimarish) for female or ይማርህ (yimarih) for male "May God forgive you!" ያኑሪሽ (yanurish) for female or ያኑርህ (yanurih) for male "May you live for long."
Afrikaans Gesondheid "Health!" Unknown Unknown
Arabic صحة (Sahha) or يرحمكم الله (yarhamkom Allah) if the sneezer says الحمدلله (Alhamdo lel lah/Alhamdulillah), as an alternative interaction "Health!" or "God have mercy on you" if the sneezer says "All praise is for God." شكراً (Shukran) or يهديكم الله و يصلح بالكم (Yahdeekom Allah wa yousleh balakom) after the alternative interaction "Thank you!" or "God guide you and make you right," respectively.
Armenian առողջություն (aroghjootyoon) "Health!" Unknown Unknown
Assamese মঙ্গল হওক (môngôl hôwk) "May good happen." Unknown Unknown
Azeri Sağlam ol, or sometimes Afiat (see Persian) "Be healthy." Unknown Unknown
Bangla Jeebo "Live or live long." N/A N/A
Basque Doministiku', from Latin 'dominus tecum' "Lord be with you." Unknown Unknown
Belarusian будзь здаровы for both genders, orбудзь здароў (Budz zdarovy / budz zdarou) for male and будзь здаровая (Budz zdarovaja) for female "Cheers!" or "Be healthy!" for each gender дзякуй (dziakuj) "Thank you."
Bosnian Nazdravlje "To your good health." Hvala "Thank you."
Bulgarian Наздраве (Nazdrave) "To your health." or "Cheers." Благодаря (Blagodarya) "Thank you."
Catalan Jesús or Salut "Jesus." or "Health!" Gràcies "Thank you."
Cantonese 大吉利事. Sneezing in Southern Chinese culture means that someone is speaking ill behind your back. "A great fortunate occurrence." 唔好意思 "Sorry."
Chechen Dukha vehil for male or Dukha yehil for female "Live for a long time." Dela reze hiyla "Thank you, literally means "I wish God will bless you"."
Chinese 多喝点水 (Duō hē diǎn shuǐ),一百岁 (yì bǎi suì), 保佑你 (bǎo yòu nǐ) or 长命百岁 (chánɡ mìnɡ bǎi suì); frequently, listeners do not comment on the sneeze. "Drink more water","May you live for a hundred years.", "bless you." or "May you live to one hundred years." 呵呵,不好意思 (bù hǎo yì si) "He he (No meaning, just smile politely)","Excuse me."
Croatian Na zdravlje "To your health." Hvala "Thank you."
Czech Na zdraví or Pozdrav Pánbůh or Je to pravda "To your health." or "Bless God" or "It is true." Ať slouží "May it last."
Danish Prosit "To your health." Tak "Thank you."
Dutch Gezondheid, or if the person has sneezed three times, (Drie keer) morgen mooi weer "Health!", the equivalent of 'Gesundheit' said in English, or if the person has sneezed three times, "(Three times) the weather will be nice tomorrow." Dank u (wel) formally, or Dank je (wel) "Thank you."
Esperanto Sanon "Health!" Unknown Unknown
Estonian Terviseks "For your health." Aitäh "Thank you"
Faroese Jesuspápi vælsigni teg! "May Jesus bless you." Takk (fyri)! "Thanks (for [it])!"
Finnish Terveydeksi "For health!" Kiitos "Thank you"
French à tes / vos souhaits after the first sneeze, à tes / vos amours after the second sneeze, and qu'elles durent toujours after the third. More archaically, one can say Dieu te/vous bénisse or Santé. "To your wishes." after the first sneeze, "To your loves." after the second, and "that they last forever" after the third. More archaically, the translations are "God bless you" and "Health," in that order. Merci or Merci, que les tiennes durent toujours after the second sneeze "Thank you" or "Thanks, may yours last forever" after the second sneeze
Georgian იცოცხლე (itsotkhle) "Live long." გმადლობთ (gmadlobt) "Thank you."
German Gesundheit "Health!" Danke (Schön) "Thank you (very much)."
Greek στην υγεία σου (steen eyia sue) or γείτσες "To your health!" or "Healths!" Ευχαριστώ (Efharisto) "Thank You"
Gujarati Ghanu Jivo "May God bless you with a long life." Unknown Unknown
Hawaiian Kihe, a mauli ola, or simply Ola "Sneeze, and you shall live", or simply "live" Unknown Unknown
Hebrew לבריאות (livri'oot or labri'oot) "To your health!" תודה (todah) "Thank you!"
Hindi हरी ॐ (Hari Om) or सत्यम (sat'yam), which is a shortened version of सत्यम शिवम् सुन्दरम (sat'yam shivam sundaram) The first is the shortest mantra referring to the universality of Om; the second is "Truth," a shortened version of "Truth is God is beautiful." Unknown Unknown
Hungarian Egészségedre! "To your health!" Köszönöm "Thank you."
Igbo Ndo "Sorry." Daalu "Thank you."
Icelandic Guð hjálpi þér! to first sneeze, styrki þig to second sneeze, og styðji to third sneeze. [1] This can be shortened to Hjálpi þér. "God help you!" to first sneeze, "strengthen you" to second sneeze, "and support." to third sneeze. This can be shortened to "Bless you." "Takk fyrir" "Thank you"
Indonesian Alhamdulillah "God bless." "Suk'sma." "Thank you."
Irish Dia linn or Dia leat or Deiseal which may be a form of Dia seal The first two both mean "God be with us." The last means "May it go right," but might be a form of "God with us for a while." gabh mo leithscéal "Excuse me."
Italian Salute! "Health!" Grazie. "Thank you."
Japanese お大事に (Odaiji-ni) as assuming one got cold. Or, a Japanese superstition says that if one sneezes, they are being talked about by someone, somewhere. "Take care of yourself." すみません (sumimasen) or 失礼しました (shitsurei shimashita) "Sorry." or "Excuse me."
Kannada ದೇವರು ಕಾಪಾಡಲಿ (devaru kaapadali) "Let God save you" 'ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು' "Thanks!"
Kazakh Сау Болыңыз (Saw Bolıñız) "Be healthy." Рахмет! "Thanks!"
Khmer ស្បើយ (S'baoi) "Fast recovery." សាធុ (Satu) "Amen"
Kirundi Kira "Be healthy." Twese "Us all."
Korean Nothing is said. N/A 미안합니다 (mianhamnida) "Sorry."
Kurdish Kher be inshalla. Many times when one sneezes, they say that the thing they are about to do will not happen. So, a listener says Kher be. "It will be a good thing, God willing," or the shorter version, "A good sign hopefully." Unknown Unknown
Kyrgyz Акчуч! [aqˈt͡ʃut͡ʃ]. This may be based on an onomatopœia of the sound of a sneeze, like the English "Atchoo." Ракмат!, if the person who spoke after the sneeze is liked. "Thank you."
Ladino Vivas, or Crescas after a second sneeze. "May you live," or "May you grow" after a second sneeze. Unknown Unknown
Latgalian Veseleibā "To your health." Paldis "Thank you."
Latvian Uz veselību "To your health." Paldies "Thank you."
Lithuanian Į sveikatą {pronounced 'EE sweh kata'} [2] "To your health." Says Atsiprašau immediately; responds to a responder with Ačiū. Says "Excuse me" immediately; responds to a responder with "Thank you."
Lojban No set phrase, but one commonly says kanro .a'o (kanro aho) or .a'o do kanro. "[hopefully] Health!" or "[said with hope] You are healthy," respectively. Unknown Unknown
Luganda Bbuka "Recover." Unknown Unknown
Lufumbira Urakire "May you be healthy." Twese "Us all."
Macedonian Hа здравје (na zdravje) "To your health." Здравје да имаш (zdravje da imash) or Благодарам(blagodaram) or Фала(fala) "Have health yourself." or "Thank you." or "Thanks."
Malayalam No widely used phrase, but references to God such as ഹരി കൃഷ്ണ are used, especially when a child sneezes. Unknown Unknown Unknown
Maltese Evviva "May he/she live." An alternate translation is "Long live _____." Grazzi "Thank you."
Mongolian Бурхан өршөө (Burkhan örshöö) "May god forgive you." Unknown Unknown
Nepali ʼचिरन्जिभी (chiranjivī) "May you live long." Unknown Unknown
Norwegian Prosit "To your health." Takk "Thank you."
Persian عافیت باشه (Afiat Bahsheh). "May Cleanliness/Purity be bestowed upon you or may it be for your health." The sneezer will often say سلامت باشید (Salaamat Bashid). The sneezer will say "Be healthy."
Polish Na zdrowie! or Sto lat! "To your health!" or "Live a hundred years!" Dziękuję. Thank you.
Portuguese Saúde or Santinho These mean, in order: "I wish you great health" or ""Little saint"" obrigado/a or amen "Thank you" or "Amen."
Punjabi ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ (Waheguru) or ਤੇਰਾ ਭਲਾ ਹੋਵੇ! "Glorious Lord" or "May you be blessed," respectively. Unknown Unknown
Romanian Sănătate or Noroc "To your health" or "To your luck," respectively. Mulţumesc Thank you
Russian будь здоров (bood' zdorov) for male or будь здорова (bood' zdorova) for female. "Be healthy." спасибо (spasiba) "Thank you."
Serbian Наздравље "To your health." Хвала or less frequently Истина. "Thank you," or less frequently "It is true."
Sinhala Ayubowan "Have a long life." Unknown Unknown
Slovak Na zdravie "To your health." Ďakujem "Thank you."
Slovenian Na zdravje or the old-fashioned Bog pomagaj "To your health" or "God help to you." Hvala "Thank you."
Spanish Salud, Jesús, or Dios te bendiga, or Salud after the first sneeze, Dinero after the second, and Amor after the third, usually with growing excitement after each "To your health", "Jesus", or "God bless you", or "Health" after the first sneeze, "Money" after the second, and "Love" after the third Gracias "Thank you"
Swedish Prosit "To your health." Tack "Thank you."
Tamil Needu valgha "Live long." "Nandri" "Thank You"
Telugu Chiranjeevi bhava or దీర్ఘాయుష్మాన్ భవ "May you be blessed with a life without death." or "May you live long." Unknown Unknown
Turkish Çok yaşa "Live long." Sen de gör or Hep beraber or 'Siz de görün "And I hope that you live to see it [my long life]," or "All together," or "And may you witness it [my long life]," respectively.
Ukranian будь здоровий (BООD' zdoh-RO-vyy) to an informal male sneezer, будь здорова (BООD' zdoh-RO-va) to an informal female sneezer, or будьте здорові (BООD'-te zdoh-RO-vee) to a formal sneezer. "Be healthy." дякую (DIA-koo-you) "Thank you."
Urdu yar-hum-o-kullah (First the person who sneezed says "Al-ham-du-lillah", i.e., praise be to God) "May God have mercy on you. "Yah-de-kum-ullah." "May God guide you to the right path"
Uzbek Sog' bo'ling or Salomat bo'ling "Be healthy." Unknown Unknown
Vietnamese Sống lâu or Lạy Mụ /laj˧ˀ˩ mu˧ˀ˩/ or, for a child sneezer, Cơm muối "Live long" or "Mother Nature blesses you" or, for a child sneezer, "Rice and salt." Unknown Unknown
Welsh Bendith or Bendith [Duw] arnat ti (familiar) or Bendith [Duw] arnoch chi (respectful) "God's blessing on you." "Diolch" "Thank You"
Yiddish זײַ געזונט (zay gezunt), or צו געזונט (tzu gezunt) after a second sneeze. Another response among Yiddish and Hebrew speaking Jews is אסותא (asuse), from Aramaic. "Be healthy," "too healthy," and "health," respectively. A sneezer responds to his or her own sneeze with חיים (chaim) in another Jewish custom. "Life."

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