Sick as a Dog
I missed posting yesterday. So sue me. I’ve been sicker this week than I remember ever having been–even Chicken Pox wasn’t this debilitating. And as I’ve struggled to feel better, I’ve watched my dogs watch me, perplexed.
Which made me wonder: Whoever came up with expression “sick as a dog”? My girls have been blessed with good health, and recover quickly from whatever ails them with a quick up-chuck; certainly, they’ve never dragged listlessly from couch to chair to bed that way I’ve struggled to this week.
That’s where my friend Google jumped in to help–and I’ve found a new online friend: Word-detective.com
According to an entry from June:
“Sick as a dog,” which means “extremely sick” and dates back to at least the 17th century, is also not so much negative as it is simply descriptive. Anyone who knows dogs knows that while they can and often will eat absolutely anything, on those occasions when their diet disagrees with them the results can be quite dramatic. And while Americans may consider themselves “sick” when they have a bad cold, in Britain that would be called “feeling ill.” “Being sick” in Britain usually means “to vomit.”
So to really appreciate the original sense of “sick as a dog,” imagine yourself seated in the parlor having tea with the Vicar on a lovely Sunday afternoon, when Fido staggers in from a meal of sun-dried woodchuck and expresses his unease all over your heirloom oriental carpet. It’s actually rather amazing that goldfish aren’t more popular.
I’ll leave you with that laugh, as I resume my illness, thankful that at least my eyeballs no longer feel the need to explode, and I can at least chase plot bunnies.
One thought on “Sick as a Dog”
Ah yes, two nations divided by a single language. A US twitter friend finds it odd that my mil gave me maggots. I’m just glad they were dead. Glad you’re feeling a bit better. Cathy x