The weather in Chicago is getting colder.! Unfortunately, this predicament brings about the need for jackets, hats, and gloves. It also brings about allergies, colds, and flus.! Yucky.! But this is not a blog about germs dear readers. Not to worry. It’s about what happens when we sneeze from our allergies, colds, and flus. You hear “bless you”, “salud“, “salut“, or “gesundheit“.! All of which mean health in Spanish, French, and German. In other countries, you are wished long life or your personal god is invoked.
There are two main reasons for sneezes getting special attention. Firstly, a sneeze unlike a burp can be a predictor of a forthcoming illness. So you are wished health and good living by your compatriots. Also, in some cultures, the prevalent superstition held that a sneeze could allow your soul to escape or a demon to enter.! Hmmm….I think I’ll take a cold any day. Hence, the expression “God bless you.” In today’s world; however, saying one of those lovely epithets has really become a habit and common courtesy.
Now, of course, the Mexicans have everyone beat. When they are being polite, many say “salud“. However, if you know the person sneezing very well, you can also say “sancho“. Sancho is a name, but it is also Mexican slang for the ‘other guy’. Therefore, when your guy friend sneezes, you are basically implying that Sancho is at his house with his woman.!! jajaja…
It also applies to your female friends.!! Except, you would say “sancha!” Of course, implying that Sancha is at the house with your man.! For some reason, this never failed to amuse all of us at work.!!! One of the many reasons I enjoyed living in Mexico was their ability to be deferential and irreverent at the same time.! No one understands my sancho/sancha comments here in the U.S. and it’s become another cultural euphemism I miss a lot. Hopefully, dear readers, I can get you to play along with me 🙂 A-aaachoooo.!!!