Bless You

Meaning of “Bless You”

The phrase ‘bless you’ is derived from the phrase, God bless you. It is mostly used when sending God’s blessings to someone or wishing someone good luck. The phrase is also often used when someone sneezes or does as an act of kindness.

Origin of “Bless You”

The phrase “bless you” is stated to have originated during medieval periods from the dominating Christianity. There are many theories behind it. It is also stated that the phrase was first used in the Hebrew Bible in Number 6:24 where it is used as; “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:”

Since then, it has been used in different formats and in different circumstances, but the meanings of this phrase as wishing blessings of God for someone have stayed the same. It is meant to wish wellbeing of someone except when used in an ironic sense.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

God Bless You by Michael P. McParland

As I get up now to get ready
for my meeting in a little bit
I first of all just want to say
God bless you dear in thanks for all you do
and all the love you give to me.
I will thank you deeply through all time
for the light you give and the hope
you have filled me with time and time again.
I love you so much my dear
and as God to bless you so you’ll know
just how thankful I truly am in full.

May God bless you to know within your golden heart
that you truly are a Queen who deserves the best,
may bless you to know that you truly are one
of his most special creations and gifts on this earth.
May God always bless you so you will know
and realize your abundant worth which far exceeds
all the riches in the entire universe.
God bless you my Angel Queen and feel all
these hugs and kisses I send to thee.

Here, the poet expresses his belief in God and His blessings in these two stanzas taken from his poem “God Bless You.” The first stanza is about the poet’s friend, while the second is about the Queen. But in both cases, the poet has sent blessings of God for the people mentioned in them. The meanings of the phrase are clear that the poet wishes blessings of God for the persons he feels dear to him.

Example #2

God Bless You by Black Veil Brides

We’re always told that when we die
We leave to a better place
And all I know is what you left
A love I can’t erase

All the same in love and war
Burn my name and ashes scorn

You left me with these broken lies
And I let you
Got no more time for your goodbyes
So god bless you
Well god bless you

Shed those faded memories
This is your curtain call
I’ve had enough of sympathy
It’s time to watch you fall

All the same in love and war
You left me with these broken lies
And I let you
Got no more time for your goodbyes
So god bless you

So god bless you
God bless you
God bless you
God bless you

The song talks about the person leaving him to his eternal abode. The singer sends him God’s blessings with his complaints and memories. Then he discusses that it is ok if a friend has lied to him many times. He adds that it is fair to do everything in love and war. Therefore, he sends him blessings of God. The phrase has been repeated four times by the end of these stanzas, as it seems to have become a refrain, a literary device.

Example #3

God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian by Kurt Vonnegut

A postmodernist, Kurt Vonnegut, discusses the question of the afterlife in this novel. He is of the view that there is a slight difference between life and the afterlife. The title of the novel is a parody of his earlier novel as given below in the fourth example. It comprises the full experiences of Dr. Kevorkian in which he presents his experience of a near-death situation. His interviews with Hitler, Shakespeare, and Asimov make up the story of this novel. The phrase given in the title is complete in all respects but is very ironic in its meanings.

Example #4

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut

This is the earlier novel of Kurt Vonnegut, in which he uses the same phrase as the title of the novel. Rosewater is a fireman but addicted to alcohol, and, yet presides the foundation named after him. The satire is about Rosewater’s unlimited love but limited money that is ironic for the phrase used as the title of this novel.

Examples in Sentences

Example #1: “God bless you! You have done a very good job, and someday soon, your hard work will pay off.”

Example #2: “Herman prays for his friend and always says ‘bless you’ when he sees them on the road.”

Example #3: “Bless you will be his final words though he always says God bless you when praying for others.”

Example #4: “James had a photic sneezing disease. He sneezed 40 times in a row. No one has the patience to say ‘bless you’ 40 times.”

Example #5: “Ginny can’t start a sentence with you saying ‘bless you’. She is one of the kindest women in Morrison county.”