Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sick as a Dog

I don't know the origin of that phrase, but it accurately describes me since Friday afternoon. I haven't been this ill for years.


sh said...

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.

Ruth said...

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.

Lori Waggoner said...

From what I hear, you're not really THAT to your wife...she can explain.

Seriously, we missed you at PRPC today. The peace of Christ be with you.