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Do you know there are different meanings of ‘sick’?

By 3 December 2017Language Tips

sick. word of the week

In the UK, ‘sick’  describes the action of vomiting.


Americans and Australians would say, in the same situation,:

‘I’ve vomited every morning this week.’

This is another example of how English is used differently in English speaking countries.

Americans use ‘sick’ to explain the way they are feeling.

For this meaning, British English speakers would say ‘ill’ or ‘unwell’.

Australians, on the other hand might say ‘crook’.

Isn’t it confusing!

Here are 3 examples to help:

American. Jacquie has phoned in sick. She has a bad cold.
British. Jacquie is unwell today. She has a bad cold.
Australian. Jacquie is crook. She has a bad cold.

Can you think of other ways of saying someone is sick, unwell or crook? There are lots of alternatives.