There are several expressions of the form sick as a ..., that date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Sick as a dog is actually the oldest of them, recorded from 1705; it is probably no more than an attempt to give force to a strongly worded statement of physical unhappiness. It was attached to a dog, I would guess, because dogs often seem to have been linked to things considered unpleasant or undesirable; down the years they have had an incredibly bad press, linguistically speaking (think of dog tired, dog in the manger, dog’s breakfast, go to the dogs, dog Latin — big dictionaries have long entries about all the ways that dog has been used in a negative sense).At various times cats, rats and horses have been also dragged in to the expression, though an odd thing is that horses can’t vomit; one nineteenth-century writer did suggest that this version was used “when a person is exceedingly sick without vomiting”. The strangest member of the set was used by Jonathan Swift in 1731: “Poor Miss, she’s sick as a Cushion, she wants nothing but stuffing.”I have to believe 2 Pet 2:22 has something to do with it too...(2 Pet 2:22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
I know nothing about the origin of the phrase, but I do know the feeling! I'm so sorry and I'm praying you'll recover quickly.
From what I hear, you're not really THAT sick...talk to your wife...she can explain. Seriously, we missed you at PRPC today. The peace of Christ be with you.
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