When I was a kid I always thought it was strange that anytime a baby would sneeze my mother would say “Oh, my! She would say this in a voice unique to her that expressed both reassurance and concern.
Now, with my fifth baby in the house I once again find myself using my mother’s expression “Oh, my!” any time the baby sneezes. I don’t say it volitionally, it just pops out before I can stop it.
This makes me wonder if the expression originated with my mother, or if perhaps she had heard it often from her own mother or father. How many generations might this go back?
I expect that someday when all of the kids are home for the holidays along with their own families, to be holding a grandchild who sneezes and for there to be a chorus of voices as each of my adult children say with me, “Oh, my!”