Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday saying

I think I missed last week because my sister was here and I wasn't BLOGging while she was with me.  So, this weeks saying is -- wait for it!

It's flu season.  A lot of people are sneezing.  You'll hear "God bless you" or "geshundheit" often.  But not in our house.  No siree, Bob. 

I guess because of World War II, my father wanted to put aside all things German.  Now, we still had some family sayings that came from the Pennsylvania Dutch, but in fact, dad's family all came from Bavaria -- isn't that Germany?  My father, however, was always an American.  Not German, not Italian, not Pennsylvania Dutch.  He was an American.

My mom's family was Italian -- all of them -- the whole brood.  And while very few Italian sayings came down through the family line -- well, there are quite a lot actually -- one saying that my father picked up on and said anytime someone sneezed was:  Dio ti benedica, (pronounced dee uh duh benna deech).  I quickly learned to say that instead of "God Bless You" when someone sneezed, but apparently, I was the only one in our family that did, except for, of course, my mother.

So, my sister sneezed last week, and I said, "Dio ti benedica," and she said, "Huh?"  I had to explain it to her, so I guess the Italian saying didn't sink in.  Now, there's a reason for that.  Because my father was into homeopathic medicines we were rarely sick.  Few sniffles and sneezes, I guess.  But there had to be enough for me to pick up on the Italian "God bless you".

Go back to October 29, 2007 and read more about this particular family saying.


No comments: