Date: Mon, 27 Mar 1995 20:02:30 EST From: Terry Lynn Irons Subject: Re: Gesundheit! Leo Horishny writes, > Perhaps someone can explain for me this puzzle about Cincinnatians... > 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? > I grew up in southern Ohio, and if I had stayed there instead of moving to Missouri and then Georgia before relocating sensibly to north-eastern Kentucky (Rowan Cty--guess how that should be appropriately pronounced!), I would be a bona-fide 7th or 8th generation native speaker of the Ohio Valley dialect (my mom and dad are both). Anyway, credentials out of the way (but I continue to find my family a wealth of dialect information, access to which is invaluable), my maternal grandfather, who was born in 1890, always used to respond to a sneeze by others with the phrase "Gesundheit." He also used to sneeze in a manner that sounded something like "Ashhellik" and I've wondered what that might mean. The background of my family, however, I should point out, in not german, but truly english, with a touch of mayhaps scots and irish, dating to migration from the 1670's. They moved to Ohio in 1804 from NJ. I suspect that my grandfather picked up the term from the people he worked with. I grew up hearing and using the term "gesundheit" to respond to a sneeze. I would suggest that if you no longer hear the term in southern Ohio, that fact is indicative of yet another change indicative of dialect loss and obselescence (sp?), a topic preposed for this year's ADS meeting by Walt. Terry -- (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*) Terry Lynn Irons t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Voice Mail: (606) 783-5164 Snail Mail: UPO 604 Morehead, KY 40351 (*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)=(*)