Posted by Joel on November 28, 1999
In Reply to: Not to be sneezed at posted
by Paul Guthrie on November 28, 1999
: I believe 'not to be sneezed at' means that something is of substantial
: Does anybody have an idea as to the origin of this phrase?
Would it be stating the obvious to say that sneezing at someone could only reveal disrespect that person? That someone NOT to be sneezed at is someone deemed worthy of respect? The phrase you ask about seems to allow the transfer of the idea to situations or inanimate objects, as well as persons. Respectability, worthiness, substance -- all these are implied in the phrase.