FAQ
overflow

Great Answers to
Questions About Everything

QUESTION

When somebody sneezes, we say "Gesundheit". Can this word be replaced by "Schönheit" or "Bescheidenheit"?

One of my colleagues has suggested me these words. What do these words mean in this situation?

{ asked by Saar }

ANSWER

I agree with what Emanuel said: Both "Bescheidenheit" and "Schönheit" are meant to be funny responses, but they are not.

In this case, "Bescheidenheit" probably is intended to be ironic and refers to that you should not have sneezed as your are attracting attention. "Schönheit" ends with "heit" and therefore has a connection to "Gesundheit", which might be the reason someone came up with the idea of saying it.

By the way: According to Knigge you should ignore sneezing as you would emphasize that someone sneezed. Instead, the person who sneezed should apologize.

However, the Knigge applies to polite society and should not be taken too seriously in my opinion, so just stick to "Gesundheit".

{ answered by efie }
Tweet