Sick as a Dog? Really?

I’ve just discovered the name of this blog, “Debbie writes stuff,” is a bit inaccurate.  Although I’ve attempted other posts I’ve only ever posted once.  I’ve tried other posts since only to be stopped by the blank screen and worries about what I should write and whether it would be well received (if it is even read.)  Other things, like the death of a beloved father in-law and preparations for Easter also intervened.  Most recently I’ve been sick with a bad cold in my chest.

“I’m sick as a dog,” I told my husband lately when he called home from work to check on me.  More and more I surprise myself as my mom’s pet phrases pop up in my thoughts or fall from my lips.  What does “Sick as a dog” really mean?  According to, the phrase describes being very ill, especially from a stomach ailment.  It is an old expression, having first shown up in 1705, but it’s unclear why it would be a dog.  I got a better answer on my web search from the site  Their expert, Carol Pozefsky, posted this response to the same question in May 2010:

“sick as a dog,” which means “extremely sick” and dates back to at least the 17th century, is 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. ”

After that description I doubt I will use the phrase “sick as a dog” in the future unless I have the stomach flu.  For now I will content myself by describing my condition as “not feeling well.”  I might even have a little fun and use an English accent when I say it.

About debbiewritesstuff

I am a wife and mom in Minnesota with more than enough things to think about! For the past two years I have served with AmeriCorps, last year I helped children from grades K-3 with their reading through Minnesota Reading Corps. This past school year I taught social and emotional skills to preschool children through the LEAP Initiative in Southern Minnesota. I've been working on my own writing endeavors for a little while now: a novel that I have put on the backburner and poetry. I have a Master's degree Counseling and Psychological Services. I love history, family stories, taking pictures, singing in the church choir, reading, tracing the family tree, and oh, yes writing. I also love 'likes' and comments on my blog and I am tickled when someone chooses to 'follow me.'
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