Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 09:07:00 -0600 From: "Emerson, Jessie J" Subject: Re: Blessings and other southern euphemisms David A. Johns wrote: > In my experience (pre-southern) expressions like "bless his heart" > were used by old ladies when talking about a child who had done > something good: "He brought me a flower from the garden, bless his > heart." There was no question that the expression was positive. > I believe the expression as used above contains a note of pathos. It's almost always directed at either a young person, an old person (who may have some sort of health problem), or a sick person. The intention is positive, but with pity, and it's not the same as "isn't that sweet." > "That student really blessed me out over the grade I gave her." > "Bless me out" has been around quite a long time and is not as new (I don't think) as the "damn his bones" meaning of "bless his heart" (which I've never heard). Jessie Emerson