“The whole gesundheit thing. I mean, Grandma Kern’s whole family, they were German. And so growing up, some of the words they would use for things, they’d always use the German word. And, ya know, we just never though anything about it. We just thought that was the word that you use. So, if ya did sneeze, she would always say gesundheit. And, really, it means ‘god bless you.’ And again, I guess it’s because if you sneeze, your heart can, um, stop, and so they’re blessing you in case you died or something.”
Although this is a distinctly German word, I’ve grown up feeling as if it were almost mainstream. Many may not know the origin nor the literal translation, but many will understand what is generally meant since it is said under a very specific context.