No matter who I talk to, there are many people who are either “sick as a dog”, has been “sick as a dog”, or knows someone who is or has been. I can understand that here in the South where it does not get cold enough to kill any bug, whether crawling or flying, or in our digestive system, but I will never understand that in the North where it gets so cold everything, including bugs are gone for those winter months. So, why aren’t those influenza bugs dead in the North?
Just think about that word “bug” — it could mean the kind that crawls or flies, or it could mean the influenza type, or it could mean the type that invades the computer. Bugs are everywhere! so I guess it is reasonable those little critters could invade our body and make us “sick as a dog”. The poor computer could be “sick as a dog” too.
Now, being that sick has nothing to do with a sick dog.
When we say, “sick as a dog” we are talking about humans being sick, influenza sick or with a really bad cold with fever. But, how in the world did we associate ourselves with a dog while we are sick?
I found that in the early 1700s in England, they had a saying as being as “sick as a parrot”, which actually means being extremely disappointed if you were to go to the dictionary. But…there is another story here where parrots were taken aboard ships as they sailed the high seas and those parrots ate the raw spoiled fruit aboard the ship and then acted like someone who had too much to drink; therefore, becoming quite sick. So, next time you watch Pirates of the Caribbean and see the woozy parrot, he is not drunk, he is actually sick from eating all that fermented fruit!
Then, when the British started settling the colonies, the term “sick as a parrot” became “sick as a dog” because, let’s face it, even though they are man’s favorite companion, they have been given a bad rap. Every dog will have its day, though, even when it’s a dog-eat-dog world when the dirty dog must work like a dog, but at least the dog tired top dog will be eating like a dog with its bone leading a dog’s life. Hot dog!
Until next week…have a great weekend…