www.whyville.net Jul 3, 2005 Weekly Issue

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"Bless you!"

How many times do you hear this on Whyville? A lot, because of the Why-Pox.

Well, maybe just the 'achoo' part.

But this got me thinking. What is the origin of the phrase, 'Bless you'? Why in the world do we say it?

Well, I did a little bit of studying, and these are some of the possible origins I've found:

1. When one sneezed, one was thought to have good luck coming his or her way. "Bless you" was meant to recognize the good luck.

2. When one sneezed, one's heart was thought to have stopped. "Bless you" was meant to start the heart again.

3. When one sneezed, one's soul was thought to be blown out the nose. "Bless you" was meant to stop Satan from snatching up the soul before it could dart back inside the body.

4. When one sneezed, one was thought to die soon. "Bless you" was meant as sort of a goodbye before one died.

5. When one sneezed, one was thought to have expelled a demon out one's nose. "Bless you" was meant to keep the demon from flying back up your nose.

6. When one sneezed, one was thought to have cleared an empty space in one's head. "Bless you" was meant to keep any evil spirits from filling up that space.

Now that you have had a good laugh, here are some interesting facts about sneezing.

1. When you sneeze, the *cough* stuff *cough* that comes out of your nose can fly up to 3 meters, or 9 feet!

2. When you sneeze, the air coming out of your nose can reach speeds up to 100 miles an hour!

3. Some people are provoked to sneezing when their eyebrows are plucked.

I hope you enjoyed this article, and maybe you got a good laugh or a raised eyebrow (don't pluck it!) out of it.

This is RoseOfRed, going to see if eyebrow-plucking really makes you sneeze. TTFN!


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