Date: Tue, 4 Apr 1995 11:52:39 -0700 From: Peter McGraw 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 thread? 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. Peter McGraw Linfield College McMinnville, OR