Even though we attempt to avoid sneezing before others to avoid spreading germ; in the past it was considered acceptable to sneeze in public. Also, belching before others is usually considered bad manners. However, among some civilizations in days gone by to belch out load while eating a meal as a guest was a way of declaring the food was delicious.
The phrase: “It’s nothing to sneeze at” has been frequently heard since the early 1800s. It is a way of declaring the thing in consideration is important and we should give it careful consideration. Otherwise, whatever is brought up in which an individual does not believe worthy they will turn their nose up at.
SOME FOLKS of the past believed that to sneeze enabled them to clear their mind for better meditation. During the 17th century in Europe sneezing was considered acceptable in good society and gave indication that the one doing so was of a privileged class. In that snuff can cause a person to sneeze many, both men and women, carried a small box containing a mixture of sneeze-producing herbs or tobacco. Usually only the rich could afford to buy snuff for that purpose.
Dub Mowery is a Gospel preacher in the Church of Christ. A native of Southeast Oklahoma, he is the author of Colloquial Sayings & Expressions (Morris Publishing, 2008)