Home » Reflexes » Page 2


Sneeze Confirmed the Truth

If someone sneezes while you’re saying something, a Yiddish speaker might say “G’nossem tsum emes,” or “The sneeze confirmed the truth,” meaning that what you just said is true, and the sternutation proves it. An...


Singultus, which comes from a Latin word for “sobbing” or “dying breath,” is a fancy way of describing a not-so-fancy affliction: the hiccups. This is part of a complete episode.

Gracious Plenty

When somebody sneezes, we say bless you or gesundheit. But suppose that person coughs. Are you supposed to say something — or are they? Plus, Mexican standoffs, gracious plenty, linguistic false friends, southpaw vs. northpaw, the slang of rabbit...

Six Bald Men

How do you get rid of the hiccups? Have someone scare you? Hold your breath? We hear thinking of six bald men may just do the trick! This is part of a complete episode.

Nothing to Sneeze At

Forensic linguists use what they know about speech and writing to testify in courtrooms. And get out your hankies! Martha and Grant are talking about the language of … sneezing. And what do you call it when you clean the house in a hurry...