Date: Mon, 27 Mar 1995 10:05:29 -0500
From: Robert Kelly kelly[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]BARD.EDU
Subject: Re: Gesundheit!
The Cincinnatian says "Please," not "Bitte," though the usage is calqued
from the German use. No reason to say "Gesundheit," since the identical
context elicits an exact situational equivalent, Bless you! or God bless
you! Perhaps you're really asking the question: why don't Cinci-folk
say "Health!" when someone sneezes. That would be the exact balance for
You may be pleased or distressed to know that the great Meyers
Konversations-lexikon (a century old now) has an article PORKOPOLIS,
discussing Cincinnati and how it came to be so called....
On Mon, 27 Mar 1995, Leo Horishny wrote:
Perhaps someone can explain for me this puzzle about Cincinnatians...when we
moved here years ago, I caught on to one of the local idiomatic expressions,
"Please?" for whenever a listener wished to have some-
thing repeated. I learned this term, which I had not heard where I grew up,
comes from the German way of speaking; Germans say, "Bitte?" in the same
Now, I've long wondered if this is so, why is it that they do NOT use the
term, "Gesundheit"? I can't remember hearing this term since moving to
Cincinnati just, "God Bless You" or "Bless You". I do remember hearing it,
from time to time growing up in the West. Nothing as frequent as an,
either/or occurence, but often enough to be aware that these were two equally
appropriate forms of expressing concern for another's soul possibly flying out
of their mouth.
Has anyone come across any reason or research into this blatant disregard for
the Teutonic concern for the souls of others?
leo_horishny[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]pol.com