07
Jan
10

What do you say when an atheist sneezes? (Revisited)

Martijn from the Netherlands posted another alternative to “Bless you” in the comments:

About what to say when an atheist sneezes: you might want to borrow a word out of Dutch or German. When anyone sneezes back here the other one says: Gezondheid (or in German: Gesundheit), which literally means ‘health’.

I didn’t know the actual meaning of “gesundheit” until now. I like it a lot – it’s an act of goodwill without deference to any deity or superstition. Thanks, Martijn!

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3 Responses to “What do you say when an atheist sneezes? (Revisited)”


  1. 1 Peter
    January 8, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Actually the literal translation for the German phrase is “Good Health” (Gesund=Good Heit=health) But I agree, it is a good thing to say. Funny, my dad, (also Atheist) actually said bless you out of habit to a Hindu man. Both of them thought it was very ironic.

  2. September 2, 2010 at 3:49 am

    In Spanish they “salud” which I have heard means Health or Good Health also. I was also told that the same is true of Italian which is “salut.” I’m not sure how that is spelled, though. I like to use gesundheit or salud. 🙂


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I am an atheist, a person who does not believe in the existence of any gods.

Many people don't know a lot about atheists, and have questions about them. In this blog, I do my best to answer them, to help build an understanding between atheists and theists.

Do you have a question? You can post it in the comments to any of my blog entries, and I will do my best to answer it in a new entry.


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