As Sick As A Parrot (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "As Sick As A Parrot"?

To be as sick as a parrot is to be very disappointed or unhappy. It is generally used by sports fans to express their disappointment about their team. It is thought to have first been said by Liverpool footballer Phil Thompson. It originated from the deadly viral parrot disease, which was passed on to humans and killed many people in Africa in 1973.

A Competing Theory

The term sick a parrot derives from the knowledge that some parrots will feed on rotting and fermenting (and therefore alcoholic) fruit. The term drunk as a parrot derives from this. After being drunk, the parrot would suffer a hangover the next day and be sick a parrot.

Another Competing Theory

In Indonesia, "Sakit Perut" (pronounced: 'Sackit Paroot') is used to describe having an upset stomach. This Malay phrase sounds very similar "sick as a parrot".
Sick As A Parrot (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • I feel as sick as a parrot watching this football final.
  • You were nominated, but your brother wasn't. He feels as sick as a parrot.
  • I'll be as sick a parrot if you guys lose this match.

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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs

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