Friday, 17 October 2014

Is "Bless You" a New Four-Letter Word?

I was responding to a comment on a blog post the other day and I wanted to convey my goodwill by speaking blessing to the other person. I wrote it down, but found myself hesitating over publishing it. I pondered my reluctance for a minute or two until I realised what the issue was.

You see, too many times I've seen self-professed christians writing acrimonious comments to one another and then sign off their vicious verbal attack with the words, "Bless you, brother/sister."

It's as if you can speak any vitriol you like as long as you slip in a christian cliche at the end which somehow sanctifies the whole.

Or not!

In the same way that other words or phrases have come to convey something quite different from their original meaning, how long will it be before "Bless you" becomes a swear word?

Update: 9th May, 2018

This morning I witnessed a friend being "blessed" online by someone who obviously believed they could be as malicious as they wanted as long as they said the magic words at the end. And it occurred to me that "Bless You" has not so much become a swear word, as a get-out-of-trouble-free card that is played so that people can pretend (at least to themselves) that they aren't just downright nasty.


  1. Is "Bless You" a New Four-Letter Word?

    Thought you just might be correct…

    You can say anything you want just add...
    Bless His heart

    1. Exactly A. Amos. And thanks for the links - I look forward to checking them out. The last one you alerted me to was a classic!