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Where does the phrase ‘sick as a dog’ come from?

11 Apr

I cope with being sick the way Paris Hilton ‘acts’. So poorly you almost have to see it to believe it.

I’m just not meant to come down with ailments that confine me to bed for the best part of a week. I’d much rather be hit with a mild sporting injury instead – as long as it’s somewhere G-rated I can show off in public to get sympathy.

Anyway, as is often the case, today’s health and wellbeing inspired today’s post. So I decided to discover why we say we are ‘sick as a dog’. And if you’ve just eaten brunch you might want to check back later for the answer as it’s pretty gross.

Basically the description dates back to at least the 17th Century and refers to the tendency of dogs to eat almost anything they can get their paws on, even stuff they shouldn’t. Which of course often results in them vomiting the material right back up again.

And since vomiting is so closely aligned with human illnesses, the obvious parallels gave birth to the phrase.

Charming, no?