10 Other Ways to Say “Bless You” When Someone Sneezes

So, someone has just sneezed. You want to say “bless you,” but you’re worried it might not be the best phrase anymore.

Don’t worry; there are plenty of alternatives! This article will explore some of the greatest alternatives to “bless you” that work after a sneeze.

Other Ways to Say “Bless You” When Someone Sneezes

  • Gesundheit!
  • That was a big one!
  • Excuse you
  • Get well soon
  • Live long
  • Cheers
  • Happy sneezing
  • Pardon you
  • Health!
  • Best wishes!


  • “Bless you” is common and polite to excuse someone for sneezing and works even in non-religious senses.
  • If you want to avoid religious connotations, “gesundheit!” is great formally.
  • You could also poke fun at someone’s sneeze with “that was a big one!” informally.

There are always options available to replace the religious phrase “bless you.” Keep reading to learn what the best options are and how they work.

We also speak about whether “bless you” is polite at the end. Feel free to skip ahead if you’re here to learn about that!

You may also be looking for this article: 12 Other Ways to Say “God Bless You”

Gesundheit! (Formal)

If you want a different way to say “bless you” formally, you can try “gesundheit!” It’s a great word to use after a sneeze meaning “Health!”

Firstly, it should come as no surprise that “gesundheit!” is not of English origin. It is a German word that means “Health!” but it’s very common to use in English.

You won’t often find yourself writing “gesundheit!” so don’t expect to come across it in business emails.

Instead, you can use it when your boss sneezes. It’s a great way to show respect and is a good answer when someone sneezes.

Generally, you’ll never need to use a phrase like this in formal emails. After all, what’s the point in emailing someone after they sneeze? That would be very strange.

We encourage using “gesundheit!” over “bless you” after a sneeze if you want something with non-religious connotations. It’s a great phrase that ensures you won’t offend anyone who doesn’t believe in blessings.

Here are a few examples that will demonstrate how it works:

Gesundheit, sir! I hope you’re not coming down with anything too bad.

Gesundheit! That sounded quite bad. Have you tested to see if you’re caught anything?

That Was a Big One! (Informal)

You should use “that was a big one!” if you want a funny way to say “bless you.” You don’t always have to be respectful in conversational English, after all.

Instead, let’s imagine your colleague just sneezed in the office next door. You could announce, “that was a big one!” to let them know you heard it and were impressed by the noise of their sneeze.

As long as you are close to this colleague, they should laugh about it. It’s a surefire way to make your working day more interesting and exciting.

However, we don’t think this phrase works better than “bless you” after a sneeze if you’re trying to be respectful. You should only use it when you are talking to friends and making fun of the sound of their sneezes.

These examples will help you understand more about it:

Wow, that was a big one! You must have been holding that one for a long old time.

That was a big one! If anything, it sounded like it hurt a little bit!

Is It Polite to Say “Bless You” When Someone Sneezes?

It is very polite to say “bless you” when someone sneezes. Of course, it’s best to use a different phrase around non-religious people, but most of them don’t mind the phrase at all.

There are two main phrases that one might say after a sneeze:

  • Bless you
  • God bless you

If you use “God” in the phrase, it becomes religious.

However, if you keep “God” out of the phrase, “bless you” on its own is very inclusive and caring. It’s a great phrase to use in many contexts.

Most non-religious speakers are fine with the use of “bless you.” In fact, most non-religious speakers use the phrase themselves due to its traditional value.

You should bookmark this page if you’d ever like to come back for a reminder! You never know when someone might sneeze! At least you can be prepared.