Where Do These Sayings Come From

@EvrWonder (3577)
Canada
February 20, 2010 9:27pm CST
Yes, I am not feeling well and haven't been for a week. A friend called me, out of the blue and asked how I was doing. I replied that I have been "Sicker Than A Dog". Later and since I have been wondering where a saying like that comes from? Do you know? Are there any other sayings that you know of that you to have wondered the same thing, where the saying originated from?
3 people like this
6 responses
@SomeCowgirl (32270)
• United States
21 Feb 10
It's odd. We say so many different sayings and it's usually just something we pick up from family or friends, but we're not really sure where they came from. A saying I know, but know where it came from, is "don't let the bed bugs bite." talking about back when beds were made diferent with rope and so bed bugs were possible!
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@EvrWonder (3577)
• Canada
21 Feb 10
Good point, thank you for your response. Speaking of bed bugs, there are alive and well again on the West Coast. I think the beds are made from fiber which exacerbate the incline of population of these bugs. Personally, I have never had bed bugs, so can appreciate the saying, "don't let the bed bugs bite". Although "sicker than a dog"? Well just how sick is the dog? Where did that saying originate from I wonder. It is a different one.
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@SomeCowgirl (32270)
• United States
21 Feb 10
Yes, I think the material the bed is made from (old and rotting wood for instance) or even the fabric on the bed could attract the buggy pests! Hmm, I do wonder how sick the dog is? http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-sic1.htm Found this about "sick as a " and "dog"... thought it was kind of interesting, just read half of it though.
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@EvrWonder (3577)
• Canada
21 Feb 10
Thank you for your response and the link! I have read something similar. It is funny how the origin can date back so far re: 1700's and still be part of our lingo now a days, isn't it? I think it is more the fabric that the mattresses are made from that attracts the bugs since it gives them something additional to feed off of.
1 person likes this
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
21 Feb 10
I read that this phrase originated in 1705 (or earlier) in Great Britain. The British usually say they are "ill" when they are feeling bad, but they are "sick" when they are vomiting. Dogs tend to vomit WAY more than the average human, therefore, to be "as sick as a dog" means there's a lot of vomiting going on. "Sicker than a dog" would be something I'd not like to experience any time soon! I certainly hope you AREN'T sicker than a dog and that you feel ever so much better very, very soon!
@EvrWonder (3577)
• Canada
21 Feb 10
Hi mentalward, excellent answer and well I guess then, i am not sicker than a dog and haven't been throughout this mere but serious cold. It almost went bacterial, into my lungs. I was really not feeling very good at all. I was simply just "ill" and not "sick". Thanks a bunch for this explanation. It makes most common sense to me and dogs do tend to vomit much more than humans do. Thanks for your response!
1 person likes this
• Atlantic City, New Jersey
21 Feb 10
Sick as a dog," which means "extremely sick" 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. Hence the saying, sick as a dog :)
1 person likes this
@EvrWonder (3577)
• Canada
21 Feb 10
I agree that the saying is more descriptive than negative. I have since learned that this saying does date back to the 1700's. It is true that when a dog does have an upset digestive system, it can be quite dramatic, therefore the saying Sick as a Dog would make sense as well. Thank you for your response!
1 person likes this
@polachicago (19073)
• United States
21 Feb 10
When dogs are sick, they want to be alone, glued to their comfort place, either own bed or favorite place. They stay calm and they try to rest, however dogs are always active. We stay in our comfort place (bed) and we are calm. We seems to be sicker, because we are less active than dogs, when we are sick.
1 person likes this
@EvrWonder (3577)
• Canada
21 Feb 10
Hello Pola, thank you for your response. I have enjoyed your take on the saying Sick as a Dog. Sounds logical to me.
1 person likes this
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
21 Feb 10
I always wondered about this saying too until my dog was sick after having eaten and probably aspirated into his lung a part of a rug. He ended up with pneumonia and I have never seen anything more pitiful! He only laid around. He drooled all over and looked incredibly horrible for several days until his antibiotics kicked in. I told people that NOW I knew why they say "sicker than a dog" to compare how badly someone feels. You would have to be REALLY sick to make that comparison!
@EvrWonder (3577)
• Canada
24 Feb 10
I agree Rocket, re: "Really Sick". Your poor dog. That must of been a terrible experience for him. How is your dog doing now? I am slowly understanding the meaning behind the saying "Raining Cats and Dogs" but others as well. It's fun learning more about the origin of these funny sayings. Thank you for your response and I do hope that your dog is all well and fine.
@bunnybon7 (37157)
• Holiday, Florida
10 Apr 10
haha! good one. i have a couple of books with these things in it. but who looks at books these days right? im just going to look at the websites of course this is another fun thing we end up spending time looking up, right?