Sneezes? Funny. The history of the word? Apparently the word was “fneeze” which went out of use in the early 15th century.
The adoption of sneeze was probably assisted by its phonetic appropriateness; it may have been felt as a strengthened form of neeze.
Phonetic appropriateness – that’s good enough to count with me as sound-play and get the onomatopoeia label.
- 09.063 of his suppressed sneezes.
- 09.064 He woke again with a specially loud sneeze.
- 09.064 and for a mercy he did not sneeze again for a good while.
- 09.064 Bilbo sneezed again.
- 10.039 For three days he sneezed
- 16.019 and in the middle of his snort he sneezed loudly,
“sneeze, v.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. 29 May 2015.