Delicious English: “Bless”

One of the most common expressions around these parts is “bless” or “bless you”. Used in almost every conceivable situation to express anything from affection to annoyance.

For example:

The sympathy blessing
“I’m not feeling very well”
“Aww, bless. You’ve had that cough a week.”

The too cute blessing
Upon seeing a little kid in a bear hat on the bus:
“Bless him.”

The at least you tried blessing
“I worked really hard studying, and I still didn’t pass.”
“Bless you, you’ll get it next time.”

The sarcastic blessing
“Well he was out drinking last night, and he’s sick as a dog this morning, bless him. He does it to himself.”

 

The English (or maybe just the Northerners?) say bless the way Canadians say sorry: it expresses whatever you need it to say, and is completely understood in context.

I never realized how often I say “sorry” until I moved here, where people mostly just respond with a look and say “you’re alright.”

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