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Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Sat Aug 8 01:08:01 EDT 2020


DARE has "sick at one’s stomach" (and variants including "sick at the
stomach") under the entry for "at" and labels it "widespread exc North,
though gaining currency throughout US." The relevant map from the DARE
surveys of 1965-70 shows the usage was indeed widespread at the time,
though I wonder if it has been "gaining currency" since then or receding.

Map: https://www.daredictionary.com/view/maps/atprep2map.png

>From the "at" entry:

2 in phr _sick at one’s stomach_ and varr: Nauseated. widespread exc North,
though gaining currency throughout US
1731 in 1906 Essex Inst. Coll. 42.224 MA, I am something better to day than
yesterday at my Stomack.
1882 Sweet & Knox Texas Siftings 80 (DAE), When he is sick at his stomach .
. he goes to Col. Andrews for advice.
1949 Kurath Word Geog. 78, _At the stomach_ is usual in all of the South
and the Midland and is not uncommon in Greater New York City, Connecticut,
and Rhode Island. In the greater part of New England and the rest of the
Northern area it is exceedingly rare. . . In southern New England and in
Greater New York City at is now fairly common among younger and cultured
persons.
1965-70 DARE
Qu. BB16a, If something a person ate didn’t agree with him, he might be
sick __ his stomach
408 Infs, widespread exc Nth, At; DC1, DE6, GA59, LA18, 25, 31, 40, At the;
NV8, At the belly; LA2, At the craw; MO20, At the tummy;
Qu. BB16b
Infs IN54, LA8, OK18, Sick at his stomach; MO39, OH42, Sick at the stomach;
CA212, Upset at the stomach;
Qu. BB17
Infs CA209, CO33, DE6, GA59, MI62, MO29, NJ9, VA42, (Be) sick at his (or
the, your) stomach;
Qu. H69
Inf TX91, Makes me sick at my stomach;
Qu. II29b
Infs IN45, VA58, Makes me sick at my (or the) stomach.

On Sat, Aug 8, 2020 at 12:07 AM Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> In the last, long-leaping line an NYT book-review by a native of New
> Orleans:
>
> "... sick at the stomach." I.e. "nauseated."
>
> This is the phrase that I grew up using in East Texas. Never seen it in
> print afore.
>
> https://nyti.ms/3gEkdHZ
>
>

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