You must Sign In to post a response.
  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Why do we say this when a person sneezes or hiccups?

    When a person sneezes, we say "God bless you!"
    When a person hiccups, we say "Somebody is thinking of you!"

    Have you experienced this? Do you know the origin of these statements? I am very curious to know so do give your feedback on what you think are the origins or reasons for it. Also, are there any other similar type of statements we say when something happens/is done?
  • #511333
    Yes I also experienced that on hiccups people often say that "someone is thinking of you " but don't know the reason.

    On getting repeated sneezing people also advice to speak some god or goddess name immediately after sneeze to prevent subsequent sneeze. This too works very well. I experienced my self that not only Lord's name but any long name spoken immediately after sneeze will help to prevent subsequent one.


  • #511349
    Yes. You are right. When I sneeze, I say Aach, Amma(Mother). Nothing else. No God. When some hiccups takes place, my dad or mom used to bang on my head and say "Yaaro Ninaikkiraanga"(someone thinks about you). The origin of these things are not known.

    Also while I was a boy, whenever there used to be a thunder whilst we were out side home, , my friends used to say 'Arjunan peyar Nooru'(Arjunan has hundred names) to save from thunder falling on our head. Because Arjun is son of Indira who is also thunder God.

    Also, whenever we sight an eagle on the sky, we used to say 'Krishna Krishna Krishna'.

    No life without Sun

  • #511380
    For those who follow fully orthodox procedure, sneezing is considered a bad omen. That means when ever you are starting a good work and somebody sneezes, then the proposed good work is postponed for a better time next. Likewise if someone has the hiccup during having food, then it is told that some one else is remembering him. It is quite true. It has happened to me. Once I was having my mid day meal and suddenly got the hiccup and at the same time my sister was trying to call me but my phone was put under charger and that is why she could not contact me.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #511421
    It was believed that when we sneeze, a little part of our soul gets departed from us. So elderly people were used to say the phrase 'God bless you' in their regional language. And now we are used to follow this tradition when anybody sneezes in front of us.

    By the way, I never say 'God bless you' if anybody sneezes in front of me. Rather I am used to say 'Excuse me' whenever I sneeze because I think it looks very rubbish.

    According to medical science, there are many reasons of hiccups but mostly it is due to some irritation in our stomach or oesophagus.


  • #511433
    In my part of the world, when we encountered an uncontrollable actions, we always attribute some things to it. Like sneezing, we will say 'God bless you' and when there is an hiccup, we say ' it is well' and g and take a sip of water to quench your taste.
    Adesola Adeyeye

  • #511442
    Sneezeing and Hicups,

    These all the late words have very effective meaning because we are away from the home and from the dear family members.

    Mostly time when we get up in the morning we always thinks about our family members and always do sneezing and do remember our dear ones. Every home all the family persons were eat breakfast and lunch and dinner at one place and with everyone. For any reason if someone will move away from the home might be for studies or jobs . While we will have out breakfast and dinner , we always have hicups at this eating time

    "Life never Stop. It will always go on"
    We can show the way but we can't force anyone to run the way we suggested .


  • #511477
    Another curious thing I know of is when a crow is constantly cawing at our doorstep/on a window, we say "You are going to get visitors". Why do we say this?

    Then there is the absurd statement "You will get money today" when somebody scratches the palm of his hand & says it is constantly itching!

    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #511489
    There may be some scientific reasons for these but traditionally it is thought that 'somebody thinks of you' , if one hiccups. Also, when we are sneezing, it is better to stop the work proposed to be done or else, wait for sometime and proceed. Particularly sneezing for one time is viewed seriously as it is regarded as not due to cold and the thing is compared to the one that cat appearing before we proceed. Continuous sneezing or sneezing more than once are taken lightly.

    The cawing of crow also regarded as the re-visit of our departed elders to our house. So, people generally offer some food on that day to crows so that we feel that the departed souls taste our food and bless us.


  • #511629
    Yes, it is normal practice in India. But almost every country has their own way to say/bless something when someone sneeze. I had posted a thread Why do we bless someone just after the sneezes? Hope this thread can give you the right answer.

    About Hiccup, yes I too have this experience when the person next to me said that "someone remembering me". But I really don't know how far this is true.

    The other one more practice which I know is snapping the fingers while yawning. It believed that if one doesn't snap fingers while yawning, it shorten one's lifespan. Though, I have not the habit of snapping the fingers but yes, I do say "god bless you" when someone near one sneeze. It just comes automatic. Also it feels nice when someone care like this, whatever may be the reason.

  • #511642
    These are believes which have accustomed into our lives, may be on repeated observation of the expected / said results or causes. I don't know of the origin of many of these, but about sneezing, I can say that our religion Islam teaches us to "Thank God" by saying "Alhamd-o-Lillah" when we sneeze. The one who hears our sneeze should say "God bless you" in the arabic words of "Yar-Ham-o-Kallah". Our religion teaches us to have faith in its commandments that none of them is in vain. Today as far as I know, science has proved that we sneeze because dust or germs are about to enter our body through the nostrils, and the immune system reacts by expelling them out of the body with a sudden sneeze. Thus technically speaking too, it is very right to "Thank God" for such a kindness.
    Success is not granted, it is earned!

  • #511687
    I have heard people say these and have come to know a relation with the one related to sneezing but have no idea about the second one.

    I was told that when one sneezes his/her heart stops for a split second. As a result people say bless you as a symbol that the heart again started to beat and we are back to life. I found some sort of a scientific correlation with it as in a particular disease in which the heart beats lot more that usual they are asked to sneeze artificially so that the heart pauses a bit. So I believe this one a bit but have no idea about the second one.

  • #512705
    There are many scientific reasons for these sayings. When i was small whenever i use to sneeze whosoever was near me use to say "god bless u" .I myself have ask them why they do so. I on the other hand say "excuse me" and i get a response "god bless" . My parents told me that whenever we sneeze our heart stops for a moment so our elders say "god bless".

    And hiccups are said to happen due to lack of water in our body , irritation in stomach etc. Whenever i get hiccups my father tells me to drink water and after drinking water sometimes it really stops!There are many more ways that my parents suggest and it really works.So my question is if really somebody is thinking about us, when we have hiccups ,so does they forcefully stop thinking when we drink water? or its a co-incidence?

    I have experimented about this also. Once i asked my sister to stand beside me and think about me.But i didn't have hiccups.Why? if really hiccups mean that someone is thinking about u than why does the same thing not happen when we know who is thinking?

    These all are traditional myths that does not have any proper reasons.

  • #512776
    As hiccups and sneezing come after a some internal bodily activity only. From that human have created interesting stories and facts related to that. If dog constantly barking or making irritating sound there is say that some thing is happen wrong at somewhere. I don't think there may be a story related with this. It comes in normal talking by only repeated practice from generation to generation.
    Well done is better than well said

  • #513785
    Being the science student i do not believe things. I do not think that if someone is remembering me if i have started hiccups .
    hiccups are usually occurring as the result of rapid eating.


  • #513949
    Yes, it is most popular saying the phrase, "God bless you " When one sneezes. Cause may be many more, but why people use to say this phrase is. as I know;

    When one sneezes, it is true that for a while (for a fraction of time/very very short time), heart stops functioning, so people say "God Bless you."

    Hiccups: Sometimes it happens when people eat food, air which is present in the food pipe does not allow the food to come down to the stomach and also air does not come out because of the food, so hiccups start to release the air, what I think.

    Dinesh Kumar

  • #513958
    Yes it is practiced in most of regions but reasons stated above may have contributed to it like drinking water help in stopping hiccups.
    After hiccups if we drink water and still these do not stop then we are asked to take some ones name or to pause breathing for few seconds. I do not know the scientific reasons but this help as during drinking water we sop breathing for few seconds.
    I do not say anything if someone else is sneezing but I say excuse me or sorry after yawning or sneezing or coughing.
    Scratching palm and crow are just part of jokes that were told once but repeated so many times that people started believing this. Like when crow visited somebody had just cracked a joke that a visitor is coming to your home and this was taken seriously. And spread like many other things as do not gift hanky to your friend. Do not yawn after taking food else food will go in donkey stomach. Do not praise your child else she will be ill or some bad sight get attached to her etc.
    If a baby say "Bua" or "Baba" as his or her first words then this is a lucky child. If elder daughter facial feature goes on father then daughter is lucky and so on that son facial features should go on mother etc.
    There are many things which are just said and done without any reason. These might be the part of joke or some other reason but later people just started following blindly without knowing the reasons.

    Chitra Rana

  • This thread is locked for new responses. Please post your comments and questions as a separate thread.
    If required, refer to the URL of this page in your new post.