Entries linking to sickish
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.
adjectival word-forming element, Old English -isc "of the nativity or country of," in later use "of the nature or character of," from Proto-Germanic suffix *-iska- (cognates: Old Saxon -isk, Old Frisian -sk, Old Norse -iskr, Swedish and Danish -sk, Dutch -sch, Old High German -isc, German -isch, Gothic -isks), cognate with Greek diminutive suffix -iskos. In its oldest forms with altered stem vowel (French, Welsh). The Germanic suffix was borrowed into Italian and Spanish (-esco) and French (-esque). Colloquially attached to hours to denote approximation, 1916.
updated on September 29, 2022