Date: Tue, 4 Apr 1995 11:52:39 -0700
From: Peter McGraw pmcgraw[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CALVIN.LINFIELD.EDU
Subject: Re: Gesundheit!
On Tue, 4 Apr 1995 BERGDAHL[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]OUVAXA.CATS.OHIOU.EDU wrote:
Terry's comment and the previous listings suggest to me that what's happened to
"Gesundheit" and "Bitte!" are similar: both get anglicized in Cinn. I wonder if
the famed anti-german sentiment which Mencken records is responsible: the same
process which around WWI produced "liberty cabbage" for Sauerkraut &c.
calqued "Bitte!" to please and replaced "Gesundheit"with "Bless you!"
David Bergdahl Ohio University/Athens
BERGDAHL[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]OUVAXA.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Hmm! Interesting observation. Obviously this didn't happen everywhere,
since "Gesundheit!" is alive and well in many places. I wonder if
"Gesundheit" tended to be replaced with "Bless you!" precisely in those
areas (like Cincinnati) where there was a large German-speaking population
up until WWI and where the non-German population was therefore more aware
of the word's origin. Anybody from Milwaukee want to contribute to this
This hypothesis wouldn't account for New York's prevalent "Bless you!"
but perhaps here the change could have occurred during WWII and be
accounted for by anti-German feeling among NYC's large Jewish population.