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Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Aug 8 13:45:07 EDT 2020


Hmmm.  I grew up with “sick at my stomach” (or more generally “sick at one’s stomach” as in the DARE entry.  Not familiar with “sick at the stomach”.  I like Kurath’s note:

>  In southern New England and in
> Greater New York City at is now fairly common among younger and cultured
> persons.

That was me in 1949, a very cultured younger speaker in NYC at age 4, not infrequently sick at his stomach.

LH


> On Aug 8, 2020, at 1:08 AM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> 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
>> 
>> 
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

------------------------------------------------------------
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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