Entries linking to heartsick
Old English heorte "heart (hollow muscular organ that circulates blood); breast, soul, spirit, will, desire; courage; mind, intellect," from Proto-Germanic *hertan- (source also of Old Saxon herta, Old Frisian herte, Old Norse hjarta, Dutch hart, Old High German herza, German Herz, Gothic hairto), from PIE root *kerd- "heart."
Spelling with -ea- is c. 1500, reflecting what then was a long vowel, and the spelling remained when the pronunciation shifted. Most of the modern figurative senses were present in Old English, including "memory" (from the notion of the heart as the seat of all mental faculties, now only in by heart, which is from late 14c.), "seat of inmost feelings; will; seat of emotions, especially love and affection; seat of courage." Meaning "inner part of anything" is from early 14c. In reference to the conventional heart-shape in illustration, late 15c.; heart-shaped is from 1744.
Heart attack attested from 1875; heart disease is from 1864. The card game hearts is so called from 1886. To have one's heart in the right place "mean well" is from 1774. Heart and soul "one's whole being" is from 1650s. To eat (one's own) heart "waste away with grief, resentment, etc." is from 1580s.
Middle English sik, from Old English seoc "ill, unwell, diseased, feeble, weak; corrupt; sad, troubled, deeply affected by strong feeling," from Proto-Germanic *seuka-, which is of uncertain origin.
It is the general Germanic word (compare Old Norse sjukr, Danish syg, Old Saxon siok, Old Frisian siak, Middle Dutch siec, Dutch ziek, Old High German sioh, Gothic siuks "sick, ill"), but in German and Dutch it was displaced by krank "weak, slim," probably via the notion of "twisted, bent" (see crank (n.)).
The restricted meaning of English sick, "having an inclination to vomit, affected with nausea," is from 1610s. By c. 1200 as "distressed emotionally by grief, anger, etc.; physically ill through emotional distress. The sense of "tired or weary (of something), disgusted from satiety" is from 1590s; the figurative phrase sick and tired of is attested from 1783. To worry (oneself) sick is by 1952.
The modern colloquial meaning "mentally twisted" is by 1955, a revival of the word's use in this sense from 1550s (the sense of "spiritually or morally corrupt" was in Old English, which also had seocmod "infirm of mind"). Sick joke is attested by 1958.
updated on June 03, 2015