travel in good health
This is a yiddish saying that has been in my family on my mothers side for some time. I heard my grandma and my mom say it since I was little before we went on a plane. The person that is traveling is the one that you are supposed to say this to. Literally, fort, in yiddush, means travel, and gezunteheyt means in good health. Gezunteheyt is also said after someone sneezes. I knew I wanted to share this saying for my folklore project but I was not sure if it really was true yiddush or if my family just made it up. But with some research, I found that in fact it is a real saying. I was skeptical because I had never heard anyone outside of my mother’s family. However, only TWO results turned out when I Googled it. One of them was The Complete Idiots Guide to Learning Yiddush.
For some reason, along the way in our family, we shortened it to for gezunt or sometimes just for. According to The Complete Idiots Guide to Learning Yiddish, however, for is the yiddush command for travel, so it makes sense to say for instead of fort. I guess my familys saying is legitimate after all. My Great Grandfather was, after all, an orthodox rabbi, so I guess I underestimate our knowledge of this ancient Jewish language. In fact, since I could only find two results in Google, maybe our family is one of the last to use these two yiddish words together to form a saying. The other reason that so few results were yielded, though, is maybe because I typed in the English- sounding version. This is because I have no clue how to type yiddish characters. I hope to discover more about this saying, as my mom has said it to me since I was a little girl, and in return I find myself saying it to her when we/she travel(s).
Blech, Benjamin. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Learning Yiddish. Alpha Books, 2000. Google Book Search. 30 Apr. 2008 <http://books.google.com/books?id=Wf17ZkniJToC&pg=PA212&lpg=PA212&dq=fort+gezunterheyt+yiddish&source=web&ots=LqV4as-NZ-&sig=Lm7TRPyjYwyB5fGF8iyWoR3fGI0&hl=en#PPA241,M1>.