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Sayings That Mention Sneezing


Saimou

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So, I’ve noticed that there are quite a few sayings that mention sneezing, although they don’t really have anything to do with sneezing, per se. In Finnish, there is a saying: ”Ennen, kuin kissa aivastaa.”, which literally means: ”Sooner than a cat sneezes.”, but more idiomatically it means: ”In the blink of an eye.”. Then there’s the English saying: ”That’s nothing to sneeze at.”. So, what are some of the other ”sneeze-sayings” that you guys can think of?

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I saw this post and started Googling to see if I could find anything. Most of my results were meh, but I can share some of them if anyone's interested...assuming others don't share them first!

The search did, however, remind me of one I've seen before. The way I first heard it was "When France sneezes, all of Europe catches cold", in regards to the various revolutions that kicked off in 1848. The point of the phrase seems to be that if one country starts something, a lot of the rest will follow suit. I'm pretty sure I've seen the phrase be used in reference to America and China too.

(I used to mentally add in the thought "And when Britain sneezes, it quarantines itself" in reference to how it's often distanced, including literally, from the rest of Europe. But I think I mostly did it because I'm an Anglophile and just wanted to have the excuse to think about some of my favorite British actors sneezing...)

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7 hours ago, Wig_Powder said:

... "When France sneezes, all of Europe catches cold" ...
... I'm pretty sure I've seen the phrase be used in reference to America and China too. ...

There are several of this style.
In the same idea, I have already found:
- When the United States sneezes, Mexico catches a cold.

Here in Belgium, we sometimes hear:
- L'éternuement est l'orgasme du pauvre. (Sneezing is the poor man's orgasm.)
(Unknown author)
Or...
- Le rire est une poussière de joie qui fait éternuer le coeur. (Laughter is a dust of joy that sneezes the heart.)
(Unknown author)

There is also :
- Sans doute il a cessé, mais pas avant de lui appliquer le remède de l'éternuement; aussi j'admire que le bon état du corps réclame des bruits et des chatouillements tels que l'éternuement, le hoquet a cessé. (No doubt he stopped, but not before applying the sneeze remedy; also I admire that the good state of the body requires noises and tickling such as sneezing, hiccups have stopped.)
(Author: Platon)

- Il démontrait que l'éternuement était une prévoyance de la nature, au moyen de laquelle les pensées trop profondes pouvaient chasser par le nez le superflu de leurs idées. (He demonstrated that sneezing was a foresight of nature, by means of which too deep thoughts could drive out through the nose the superfluity of their ideas.)
(Author: Edgar Allan Poe)

- La poésie est un éternuement de Dieu. Si on ne l'attrape pas au vol pour l'épingler sur une feuille, il se dissout dans l'air. (Poetry is a sneeze from God. If you don't catch it in flight to pin it on a leaf, it dissolves in the air.)
(Author: Oriana Fallaci)

I'm sorry for the mistakes, it's difficult to translate a proverb. :unsure:

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On 2/27/2020 at 10:28 AM, Wig_Powder said:

The search did, however, remind me of one I've seen before. The way I first heard it was "When France sneezes, all of Europe catches cold", in regards to the various revolutions that kicked off in 1848.

Yeah, I forgot about that one. Thanks for reminding me. :D

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I found a quote that mentions sneezing:

"A good rousing sneeze, one that tears open your collar and throws your hair into your eyes, is really one of life's sensational pleasures." - Robert Benchley

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  • 1 month later...

There's an old English (medieval?) saying regarding the number of sneezes:

"Once a wish, twice a kiss, three times a letter, four times something better."

Ironic for this site, no?

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21 hours ago, Bless you, Hi said:

There's an old English (medieval?) saying regarding the number of sneezes:

"Once a wish, twice a kiss, three times a letter, four times something better."

Ironic for this site, no?

Exactly. Quite fitting for this site, indeed. :D

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