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Photic Sneeze Reflex

Why do we sneeze when we go from a dark theater to the bright outdoors? The photic sneeze reflex is a genetic trait many of us have, as part of the Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helo-Ophthalmic Outburst Syndrome, the backronym for ACHOO! This is...

Sneezing Fits

What’s it called when a fit of sneezing takes hold? Try ptarmosis, from the Greek ptarmos for “sneeze.” Or sternutamentum, meaning rapid, spasmodic sneezing. This is part of a complete episode.

Scat, Tom!

“Scat, Tom! Get your tail out of the gravy!” In some parts of the country, especially the South, people say this after someone sneezes. But what does a cat warming its tail in the gravy boat have to do with sneezing? This is part of a...


Martha talks about a favorite Latin-based word: pandiculation. It’s a term that means “the stretching that accompanies yawning.” This is part of a complete episode.