What Do You Mean by the Term Sick as a Dog?
If you’ve ever been very sick, you may have used this expression. As because dogs eat just about anything they find, they often get sick. So it’s fitting to describe someone who is not feeling well as being “sick as a dog.” Arf!Arf!
“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.
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.”