Did someone tell you that they’re ‘sick as a dog’? And now you’re wondering what that meant? Below, we’ll take a look at the meaning and provide examples of how to use the phrase correctly in a sentence.
Essentially, it’s a way for someone to tell you that they’re feeling very ill or under the weather.
‘Sicker than a dog’ is a phrase that means someone is feeling very ill, usually due to a stomach ailment. The phrase is commonly used when someone is suffering from something such as the flu or the common cold.
You might hear someone say something like this while getting over an illness.
Or if they’re suffering from a disease and having a particularly tough day, they might say something like:
‘I feel awful today. I’m sicker than a dog.’
If you’ve been hit with COVID and you’re feeling all the symptoms of it, you might say that you’re ‘sick as a dog.’
The earliest known use of the phrase ‘sick as a dog’ comes from the 1700s, when it was common to compare undesirable things to dogs.
That could be why people call men ‘dogs’ when they don’t treat women right.
See back then, people didn’t like dogs because they often helped spread diseases, such as the plague, along with rats and birds.
Therefore, they were seen as dirty, disgusting things in those days when dogs usually lived outside and in poor conditions, which caused them to be a lot dirtier, mangier, and sicker.
These days, dogs get the red-carpet treatment and thankfully aren’t seen as poorly as they were in the past.
People used the phrase ‘sick as a dog’ because all dogs actually looked sick. You might also hear ‘sicker than a dog.’
How would you use ‘sicker than a dog’ in a sentence?
Let’s look at some examples:
What other words and phrases convey the same meaning as ‘sicker than a dog’?
Here are a few examples:
To recap, we learned the following:
Remember, it’s a way for someone to tell you that they’re feeling very ill or under the weather.
If you ever get stuck on anything, feel free to come back to review what you learned. We’ve got a ton of other content on Idioms you might come across as you’re learning this complex language we call English. Go check it out anytime.