Biographies de neurologues
Nouvelle Iconographie de La Salpêtrière
 L'histoire des neurosciences à La Pitié et à La Salpêtrière J Poirier
The history of neurosciences at La Pitié and La Salpêtrière J Poirier 

mise à jour du
22 mars 2009
Yawning - Sneezing
A Dictionary of superstitions
Iona Opie and Moira Tatem
Oxford university press, 1989


Knowledge, attitude and beliefs of medical residents on yawning
Le bâillement : étude comparative des connaissances et croyances, populaires et médicales
le bâillement et l'Islam
YAWN, last one to
1861 C. C. ROBINSON Dialect of Leeds 301.
If two persons are seen to yawn one after the other, it is said that the one who yawned last bears no malice towards the one who yawned first.
YAWNING: crossing the mouth
1546 P. VERGIL De Rerum Inventori bus VI x (tr. Langley)
Crossyng of our mouth. Alike deadly plage was sometyme in yawnyng, wherfore menne used to fence them selues with the signe of y crosse .. which custome we reteyne styl at this day.
1887 'SPERANZA' WILDE Superstitions of Ireland II 104.
When yawning make the sign of the cross instantly over the mouth, or the evil spirit will make a rush down and take up his abode within you.
1985 Woman, c.55 [London]
You put your hand over your mouth when you yawn to stop the Devil getting in. That's why you always close a baby's mouth when it yawns.
Cf. SNEEZING: 'bless you'.
SNEEZE, baby's first
1855 N&Q 1st ser. XII 200.
A newborn child is in the fairy spells until it sneezes.. I once overheard an old dame. . crooning over a new-born child; and then watching it intently .. for nearly a minute, she said, taking a huge pinch of snuff, 'Och! oich! No yet-no yet.' Suddenly the youngster exploded into a tremendous sneeze; when the old lady .. drew her forefinger across the brows of the child .. and joyfully exclaimed, 'God sain the bairn, it's no a warlock.'
SNEEZING: 'bless you,
AD 77 PLINY Natural History XXVIII V (1856, V283)
Why is it that we salute a person when he sneezes, an observation which Tiberius Caesar, they say, the most unsociable of men, as we all know, used to exact, when riding in his chariot even?
C. AD 150 APULEIUS Golden Ass (tr. Graves, XIII)
'Bless you, my dear!' be said, and 'bless you, bless you!' at the second and third sneeze.
ante AD 500 Greek Anthology (1874, 181)
Dick cannot blow his nose whene'er he pleases, His nose so long is, and his arm so short; Nor ever cries, God bless me! when he sneezes- He cannot hear so distant a report.
1483 Golden Legend 22.
Our lord was meuyd ayenst them [the Christian Romans] and sente to them a grete pestelence.. that was cruell & sodayne, and caused peple to dye in goyng by the waye, in playeng, in beying atte table, and in spekyng one with another sodeynly they deyed. In this manere somtyme snesynge they deyed, so that whan ony persone was herd snesyng anone they that were by said to hym, god helpe you, Or Cryst helpe, and yet endureth the custome.
1526 ERASMUS Familiar Colloquies (1725, 4)
Forms of well wishing .. To one that Sneezes. May It be lucky and happy to you. God keep you. May it be for your Health. God bless it to you.
1608 J. HALL Characters 88.
When hee neeseth, thinks them not his friends that vncouer not.
1618 J HARRINGTON Epigrams.I no. 83 (1930; 180)
If one had sneez'd, to say (as is the fashion) Christ help, 'twas witch-craft and deserv'd damnation.
1646 BROWNE Vulgar Errors IV ix.
Concerning Sternutation or Sneezing, and the custome of saluting or blessing upon that motion, it is .. generally beleeved to derive its original1 from a disease, wherein Sternutation proved mortal!, and such as Sneezed dyed.
1652 A. ROSS Arcana Microcosmi 222.
Prometheus was the first that wisht we! to the sneezer, when the man which he had made of clay, fell into a fit of Sternutation upon the approach of that celestiall fire which he stole from the Sun. This gave originall to that custome among the Gentiles in saluting the sneezer. They used also to worship the head in sternutation, as being a divine part.
1688 AUBREY Remaines(1881, 103)
We have a Custome, that when one sneezes, every one els putts off his hatt, and bowes, and cries God bless ye Sir. I have heard, or read a Story that many yeares since, that Sneezing was an Epidemical Disease and very mortal, wich caused this yet received Custome.
1738 Swift Polite Conversation 1 59 [Neverout sneezes.] MISS.
God bless you, if you ha'n't taken Snuff.
1753 Scott Magazine Nov. 544.
They bowed with a graceful simper to a lady who sneezed.
1830 MITFORD Our Village IV 299.
Who if his neighbour chance to sneeze thinks it a bounden duty to cry God bless him?
1866 HENDERSON Northern Counties 106.
Nurses in Durham, not to say mothers, still invoke a blessing on children when they sneeze; indeed some extend the practice to adults.
1875 Monthly Packet jan 9.
It is strange how many educated people will persist in dating the national 'God bless you!' from the time of the Great Plague; though we have clear proof to he contrary in The Golden Legend .. printed by Caxton in 1483.
1892 N&Q 8th ser. I 106.
At the Asylum for Fatherless Children at Reedham [Norfolk] a custom prevails amongst the girls of solemnly rising and saying 'God bless you, miss!' whenever a mistress sneezes in their presence.
1934 N&Q CLXVII 158.
In my youth - one often heard a person say 'God bless You! to a child when it sneezed, but I never heard it said to an adult.
1985 Woman, c.6o [London]
I always say 'Bless you' when I hear someone sneeze- even if they are at the other end of a bus.